Campus Rec.

Walking into the Student Fitness Center for the first time can be intimidating. It can seem impossible to navigate the expansive selection of equipment, but hopefully it’s a bit more straightforward with this guide.

New and veteran Campus Rec users can keep updated with all the happenings by following their Twitter, @SIUEcampusrec. The account regularly posts about upcoming events, classes and even whether they are hiring 

Besides the general workout equipment most gyms offer, the SFC is free to all SIUE students and has a few benefits for students such as aquatics, group fitness/classes, a climbing gym and Equipment Issue.


General Advice


Different areas in the SFC have different hours of operation. Check it out online before committing to that workout. 

Another key to success at the SFC is to dress appropriately and clean all equipment both before and after use. According to Campus Rec. officials, it promotes a healthy environment and prevents the spread of illness. 


Fitness and Strength Area


The SFC is a large building and is broken up into different sections according to purpose. One of the larger areas is the fitness and strength section.This section houses several rooms, some dedicated to group activities. 

There are machines for cardio and circuit training, as well as for cycling. 

Students don’t have to worry about available machines, as there are 70 machines dedicated to cardio alone. 

For those who avoid machines, there is always the rubberized indoor track. And don’t forget the dedicated stretching areas! 


Weight Room


The SFC has an entire section dedicated to weights — and to the benefit of students. This allows students with a preference for weights to have appropriate equipment, and to be surrounded by others with the same focus.  

There are a variety of dumbbells from 5 pounds to 130 pounds as well as squat racks, Olympic platforms and even sandbags. 

The weight rooms offers many other things, but make sure to hit up the room’s dedicated stretch area as well.


Recreational Courts


There are a number of hardwood courts for sports like basketball or volleyball. Rubberized or hardwood floors aside, the SFC welcomes students to use available courts creatively. 

Intramural or not, students are encouraged to bring their rackets, balls, or goal posts to these areas and to enjoy whatever sport they like. 




The indoor pool is a big feature at the SFC. The indoor pool’s schedule is not quite as streamlined as the SFC, but there are still various opportunities to dip one’s toes in.

The pool houses some of the best events in the SFC. Throughout the year, watch out for dive-in movies and swimming lessons. The staff are trained to teach anyone how to swim, so they will be there for students so long as they don’t get cold feet.


Climbing Gym and Bouldering Cave

Student IDs provide not only a free membership, they also provide access to the rock wall and cave, something not all universities include.

Keep in mind that the climbing gym and bouldering cave are separate. 

The climbing gym requires safety gear such as a harness. The bouldering cave is a lower climb that is available to anyone with any skill set.

The bouldering cave is open anytime the SFC is open, so even if a student misses the 5 to 9 p.m.  Sunday-Friday rock wall schedule, there is always an option to climb. 

Equipment Issue 

If students intend to try the rock wall but don’t want to invest in climbing shoes, Campus Rec. already has them covered. Through the Equipment Issue program held in the Vadalabene Center, any individual can rent out lockers, towels, tennis rackets — just about anything. 

Many of the items are free, but a few such as padlocks or pro shop items do cost a few dollars. They are fairly priced and are easily accessible to any student with a Cougar ID or paid membership.

Equipment Issue also rents out bikes. Whether it’s for a local bike trail or to get around campus faster, the SIUE Bike Share Program is available to students for free, just like SFC memberships.

Another facet of Equipment Issue is the outdoor recreation equipment rentals. Students can get anything from a kayak to a sleeping bag. 

Equipment Issue asks students to book ahead in person or over the phone at 618-650-2370 at least one or two days in advance. It can make the experience smoother for everyone involved.

It does cost to rent outdoor equipment, but it is still beyond affordable as compared to buying them. 

Be ready to pay when actually picking up the equipment, but these rentals also last longer than a day, so it really is a bargain.

Final Thoughts 

The SFC doesn’t have to be a scary place. Familiarizing oneself with how everything works and what’s available can make a world of change.  Be open to try new things and to meeting new people. Here’s to a good experience at the SFC. It is what you make of it.

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