Friday, December 1, 2023

Editorial: Make the Lil Bob more accessible

OpinionEditorialEditorial: Make the Lil Bob more accessible

If you are a university student, you have probably been told that the Carpenter Sports Building (Lil Bob) is the place to go to exercise. It’s supposedly accessible, conveniently located, has parking and all the equipment you could dream of. However, the Lil Bob is riddled with accessibility issues that the university needs to address.

Going to the gym should be an option for every college student and the university should make it a simple task. Given the stress of college life, many students use exercise as an outlet or way to stay healthy. But due to the many issues that students complain about, exercising on campus is not as easy as it should be.

The parking lot for the Lil Bob is tight, confusing and oftentimes packed. For students who live far from campus, the parking lot is not always a dependable option. And if the unclear parking rules are violated, you can guarantee that UD Parking Services will be there in no time to give you a ticket. 

The university should expand the parking lot or offer more spaces to park since it’s the main gym on campus. Or, as I’m sure many would agree, the ticketing should be lessened. If we pay to go to the university and for amenities such as a gym, one would think that parking would be included. 

It might be easy to say that if there are complaints about the Lil Bob, students have other options such as the Harrington Fitness center. What some might not realize is that the Harrington Fitness Center is incredibly too small and has limited equipment, leaving the Lil Bob as the better option.

If you are a student athlete, have no fear! These problems don’t apply to you, as you can always go to the Whitney Athletic Center, the much nicer gym reserved solely for student athletes.

Reserving a place for student athletes to train isn’t the issue here. The issue is that while student athletes benefit from a nicer facility, other students suffer with the unfairness of the Lil Bob, Harrington Fitness Center and the Independence Gym. All the facilities should be equally accessible, clean and a safe space to make progress in physical health.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Like many buildings on campus, a student ID is required to enter the Lil Bob. But if you forget your ID three times, you can no longer enter the facility. This rule can discourage students from exercising and make it a more difficult task to do so. 

In addition to the parking lot issues and the rule about student IDs, there have been complaints about the equipment in the Lil Bob as well. The lack of cardio equipment and practically broken equipment has led students to buy outside gym memberships.

As a result, students are now spending more money on outside gym memberships to have a quality experience and facility while the university should be providing that in the first place.

Despite the issue of money, this poses a safety issue as well. Students shouldn’t have to worry about equipment being broken as that is a major safety concern and could result in injury. If students can’t trust that the university-provided equipment is safe and accessible, how are they supposed to exercise?

College can be a difficult adjustment for many and exercise can be a way to establish routine, independence and overall wellness. These issues collectively discourage students from going to the Lil Bob and exercising in general. Physical health should be a priority for college students and the university should be understanding and receptive of that. 

If they want to do so, then the Lil Bob, Harrington Fitness Center and the Independence Gym should be high quality facilities for students to exercise easily and safely.

The Review’s editorials are written to reflect the majority opinion of The Review’s staff. This week’s editorial was written by Lily Williams, Managing Opinion Editor. She may be reached at




  1. As a person with a disability, the pool was very difficult to get in and out of (if you don’t use a Hoyer lift.) Getting in and out by holding the metal pole was so difficult for me! I am wondering if they could put in non-slippery steps that are easier to access the pool. Not to mention the pool was extremely cold.

    Other than that the entrance into Little Bob is easy and one of my classes is the adaptive movement class. We have people coming in from the community who have disabilities and they enjoy the gym and the pool. So I’m very happy that we open up little Bob to the community in such a manner!!


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