Frequenters of Dillon Gymnasium aiming to get in a quick run on the treadmills before class or after class have recently been greeted with an unpleasant surprise: long lines. Although usually there are not long lines for the 14 treadmills in Dillon, the gym has become so popular that wait times for the treadmills have become, in the words of Dan French ’13, “ludicrously long.”
“Lately, I feel like I don’t get any exercise when I go to Dillon,” said French. “Sometimes I have to wait up to 10 minutes to get a spot on a machine, standing there like an idiot in my gym shorts.” He continued, “Treadmills are built for running, not waiting. Didn’t anyone realize that when they designed Dillon?”
Simone Clay ’11 agrees. “Our school’s motto is ‘Princeton in the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations,’ but what about ‘Princeton in the Service of Its Students’?” Before she could be stopped, Simone added, “I just hate waiting in that awful room for so long in my gym shorts!”
When confronted with these complaints, Dillon’s building manager Spore T. Guy was dismissive. “These kids,” he said, “they are unbelievably spoiled. In the past year, we have extended gym hours, installed new televisions, and built new treadmills with our own hands. If they don’t want to wait, they can run outside.” Although Guy seems to be an upstanding fellow, a quick check of facts revealed that the treadmills in Dillon were in fact purchased, rather than built by Dillon staff.
Unfortunately, the long lines for treadmills have increased tension at the gym. Students have reportedly become more impatient—even hostile—toward other Dillon patrons. Stan Cabrera, whose name has been changed to Stella Cooper for anonymity, complained, “The last time I ran on the treadmills at Dillon, this guy in line started telling me that I looked tired, and that I’d better stop. When I kept running, he started criticizing my running form, which made me feel about two inches tall, especially because I was in my gym shorts.” He added, “What does he know about ‘form,’ I don’t even think he’s on the track team!”
Some students are optimistic. “When spring rolls around, people will probably start running outside again, and then the lines will subside,” said Dara Caro ’11. That still doesn’t explain, however, why many Princeton students share an insecurity about gym shorts.