Students forced to seek new gym options

IMG_5797Ever since its original construction, the McCann Center has provided Marist students a free and convenient place to work out. However, its recent reconstruction has left students with very few options on campus to workout, and have forced many to not only travel off-campus to workout – but to pay.

The reconstruction of the McCann Center started in the summer of 2018, and is expected to be finished by the fall of 2019. This means that the only accessible parts of the McCann Center during this school year are the swimming pool, locker rooms, and basketball court – meaning no gym for students.

As an alternative, Marist set up a small gym in a tent located directly outside McCann, which is still free for students to use. But here’s the catch – due to the small size and limited equipment in the gym, the space is reserved for teams and athletes from 6 A.M. – 6 P.M., making it even tougher for non-athlete students.

Recently, Marist also created gym spaces in New Gartland Building D as well as the Marketplace (located near Upper West). However, like the tent, these spaces have significantly less space and equipment than the McCann Center once had.

Some students have decided to stick to these on-campus options, but the lack of space and equipment has caused issues.

“Since the McCann Center isn’t open this year I had to start going to the Marketplace gym space which is nice because it was redone, but sometimes it gets frustrating because since it’s small, if I go at a busy time I don’t get to do the workout I want to do,” said senior Sarah Rampulla. “Plus, the gym doesn’t have all of the equipment that the normal McCann Center had.”

These factors have led to many students seeking alternative options – many of which were off-campus and not free.

One popular option is Mike Arteaga’s Fitness Center located right across the street from Marist, in between Palace Diner and Rite Aid. Arteaga’s offers two reasonable options for students – a four-month membership for $140, or $13 every two weeks with a $40 service fee to be paid every three months.

“Arteaga’s has been a great alternative option for the McCann Center this year, as it’s close to campus, and has a ton of space and equipment that lets me complete my workouts pretty easily,” said senior Mike Ianelli. “The only downside of it is having to pay, which is frustrating considering we pay so much tuition at Marist and they can’t provide a better gym option.”

Another option students have chose is Crunch Fitness, located about 15 minutes down Route 9. Crunch offers a membership for $20 a month, which also includes a free guest and free hydro massage and tanning.

“I love the openness of Crunch, and I also love how new the equipment is and how clean the gym as a whole is,” said senior Nick Palumbo. “The only issue is that it’s a far commute and obviously that I have to pay instead of working out for free at McCann.”

Despite the inconvenience of the McCann reconstruction, students are doing everything they can to stay in shape.

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Salsa Fresca spices up Marist area

For years, Marist students have been begging for a Chipotle to be built close to campus, as the closest one is in Fishkill – a 30-minute drive away. While they didn’t exactly get the Chipotle they were looking for, they got a very close alternative with the brand new addition of Salsa Fresca.

Salsa Fresca is a Mexican cuisine fast-food restaurant that opened near the Marist campus in late January. It was one of two restaurants to be opened in Dutchess County, as the other is located in LaGrangeville. Notably though, Salsa Fresca specializes in making burritos and burrito bowls – which now is the only option for that type of fast food within the area for Marist students.

In addition to burritos and burrito bowls, Salsa Fresca offers other types of made-to-order TexMex cuisine as well, including quesadillas, tacos, nachos, and salads.

The new Salsa Fresca replaced an old Quiznos in the mini complex off of North Rd., right across the street from the Beck parking lot and new science building. The addition has Marist students buzzing not only about the food, but the convenient location.

“Having a made-to-order burrito place so close to campus is awesome because the 30-minute trip to Chipotle has always been such a hassle,” said senior Nick Derosa. “No one ever wanted to make the long trip [to Chipotle], but now I guess they won’t have to. Plus the food is actually really good, it’s a perfect alternative to Chipotle.”

Senior Brandon O’Sullivan agreed.

“The location of Salsa Fresca is perfect, it’s virtually right on campus,” said O’Sullivan. “It’s convenient not only for off-campus students like me, but also for the underclassmen students still living in the dorms.”

While the proximity to campus has gotten many people talking, perhaps the most unique thing about Salsa Fresca is the promotions they run for students. For example, they offer $5 burritos and burrito bowls from 2-4PM every weekday for customers that present their student ID at the register.

“For me, the best thing about Salsa Fresca is the $5 burrito promotion for students that they run everyday,” said senior Nick Palumbo. “Money is always an issue for college students when choosing a place to go out to eat, so having a cheaper option makes Salsa Fresca all the more appealing.”

Another creative promotion Salsa Fresca ran was on January 25th, when every 50thcustomer they served earned free burritos for an entire year. Promotions like these have gotten the student population talking quite a bit, which has quickly turned Salsa Fresca into one of the most popular off-campus eating spots.

“I love all of the promotions that Salsa Fresca has been running, they have gotten a lot of people to the restaurant to try it” said sophomore Nicole Dencker. “Specifically, the ‘every 50th customer’ promotion was really cool, as that day everyone was going just to try to get free burritos for a year.”

It may not be a Chipotle, but Salsa Fresca has quickly established itself as one of the most popular, convenient, and cheapest food options for Marist students.