Locker room gets new scale

As of last week, the Leonard Center men’s locker room has a working, permanent scale, something it has lacked since last fall. The locker room’s original, commercial-grade scale malfunctioned midway through last semester. The Athletics Department sought to repair the broken device, beginning a lengthy process to provide the men’s locker room users with a functional scale.

Near the end of last semester, Assistant Athletics Director Ron Osterman and others in the Athletic Department worked with manufacturers to repair the scale, encountering numerous issues.

“All efforts [to fix the scale] failed, and it was deemed that the scale would need to be replaced,” said Osterman, who also oversees athletic facilities. “The cost of replacement…was in excess of $800. That amount was not in the annual Leonard Center budget.”

The Athletic Department began looking for a suitable replacement scale within its budget. Meanwhile, the men’s locker room went without a scale until mid February.
Many Leonard Center users, including Joe Klein ’16, were upset by the scale’s lengthy absence.

“I’m really confused as to why it has taken so long to replace the scale,” Klein said, who last month reached out to Leonard Center staff on Twitter asking for an update on the scale’s status. On Jan. 22, the Athletic Department’s Twitter, responded to Klein, tweeting that the department was “in the process” of replacing the scale and apologized for inconvenience caused.

Other anonymous Macalester community members placed signs in the locker room, mocking the Athletic Department for what they deemed to be a slow response. One sign compared the cost of Macalester tuition and that of a scale sold by Target. Another, placed in late December, asked “How is it possible the men’s locker room hasn’t had a functioning scale for two months?”

In early February, a small, household scale was temporarily placed in the men’s locker room. In less than a week, according to Osterman, the scale was “rendered broken and unusable.”

After removing this second broken scale last week, the Athletic Department placed a permanent replacement in the locker room. Osterman called the newest scale “rugged enough to stand up to the use of a public facility and…within [the Athletic Department’s] allocated annual operating budget.”
Klein and others expressed joy about the replacement.

“A scale is one way for students to monitor their health and wellness,” said Klein. “I’m really appreciative that the Athletic Department found a resolution to this issue.”