200,000: SRWC welcomes landmark customer

corey garriott

Nick Means, first-year law student, had 200,000 reasons to get out of bed the morning of Friday, Jan. 19, only he didn’t know it.

Around 9:30 a.m. Means walked into the SRWC with intentions of lifting weights, something he hadn’t done for almost a year, and the SRWC staff’s reaction to his entry puzzled him.

“They swiped my card and all of them started laughing at me,” said Means.

That’s generally not how the SRWC staff greets their customers, but this was a special case. Means happened to be the 200,000 person to use the SRWC since it opened in the fall of ’04.

“At first I thought it was a joke. It’s in the morning, I thought they were just goofing around,” said Means. “I still hadn’t exactly woken up yet. It was a good wake up.”

That good wake up involved an SRWC prize pack, which included a pull-over jacket, two t-shirts, a cinch bag and some other goodies.

Joel Bluml, director of the SRWC, said the festivities are just something fun for the staff and the 200,000 customer.

“I think it’s fun for us when we get down to the final ones, to watch them come up the aisle to see who it’s going to be,” said Bluml.

Students have been coming up the aisle for over two and a half years now, and that’s a testament to the kind of facility the staff continues to build.

“It shows that we are successful,” said Abby McNaught, student supervisor and employee of the SRWC from day one. “Washburn has provided a service to its students, and it has paid off. It is very clear the students have appreciated it and taken advantage of it.”

Not only are students using the facility, they’re using it in increasing numbers. It took roughly a year and half to reach 100,000 customers, but only just over a year to reach the next tier of 200,000.

An average of 421 people use the facility on a weekday during the fall and spring semesters, yet, the true value of the SRWC is not measured numerically.

“Numbers only tell so much of the story. It’s neat to think that there’s something on Washburn’s campus that’s as diversified as Washburn,” said Bluml. “Some people live on campus, a lot of people live off campus. Having a place that brings that many people together to create different friendships, bonds, connections and resources. That’s the part that I think is neat, just to be a hub of student activity. When you know how many people are doing that, it’s pretty neat.”