Simmons Center invites CU-Duncan to get fit for free

Step by step: The Simmons Center recently opened their doors to CU-Duncan students.

Step by step: The Simmons Center recently opened their doors to CU-Duncan students.

Carson Stringham

Copy Editor

There is a new perk for Cameron University students living or attending school in Duncan, Okla.who want to stay physically fit but do not feel like traveling all the way to the Lawton campus to do so: the use of the Simmons Center’s Recreation Center.

Susan Camp, Director of the CU-Duncan campus since it opened in 1994, said the agreement is the product of her desire to give the students in Duncan a chance to have the same amenities as those on the Lawton campus.

With facilities such as an indoor track, weight room, pool and many other features, the students who attend classes in Duncan can now enjoy a full gym membership as part of their college experience. All a student must do is go to the Simmons Center, show identification and the Center will issue them a membership card.

Camp said Cameron and the Simmons Center have had a working relationship with each other for the past 10-12 years. However, Cameron has only used the facility for its convention and theater wing as part of the CU@SC series. For the series, Cameron’s School of Liberal Arts utilized the facilities to hold recitals and art shows.

Camp said since CU-Duncan began offering fitness classes in the Duncan area, the Simmons Center was the obvious place to go; however, there was never a steady agreement made for long-term use. Camp wanted to change that.

“In the course of the last few years,” Camp said, “I have talked with the Simmons Center, to the administration and to Vice President Holland about various funding sources. I wrote a proposal to the Student Activities Committee, which is mostly made up of students, and they were very supportive.”

Camp said her proposal allowed for Duncan students to have access to the Center through funds through SAC; separate funds were used so that the faculty and staff could enjoy the membership opportunities as well. Camp said the Center has graciously offered discount membership prices for the spouses of students who wish to use the facility. For couples who wish to take advantage of the deal, child care – which is not included in the student membership – is another advantage of the Simmons Center.

Camp credits Bill Robinson, Adjunct Professor in the Health and Physical Education Department, with being instrumental in helping to make the merger a success. Camp said Robinson instituted the Walking/Jogging class in Duncan, and she knew he would be able to spark interest about the Center.

“He has really done a great job of getting the word out,” Camp said. “He remembers every student he has had since he started the class. He makes it fun because he is so enthusiastic.”

Camp said there are plans to add more classes in order to take full advantage of the Center’s facilities. She also said through their Center memberships, students will be able to participate in any of the classes given at the Center, not just the ones that are scheduled through Cameron.

“Whether students want to go and participate in water aerobics at seven in the morning or go Zumba at five in the evening, whatever classes are available to all Simmons Center members are open to the students as well,” she said.

Any student who wishes to participate in the Simmons Center’s athletic leagues, such as basketball or volleyball, will have to pay extra to do so, but the everyday classes are still free.

As far as more physical fitness classes being added to the CU-Duncan curriculum, Camp said there has been some discussions about adding a Walking/Jogging II class as well as possibilities for a Zumba class, yoga class and even disc golf.

Camp said she is looking forward to receiving more feedback from the student population on other courses they would like to see offered.

“I am just waiting for students to tell me what they would like,” Camp said. “Once I know, the Health and Physical Education Department and I will see what we can do.”


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