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Fitness trends on campus: In conversation with Paul Carter (the manager of the fitness hub – the MAC)

The Mitchell Activities Center, MAC, sees a hundred students on a daily basis, but before COVID-19, the numbers were a lot higher. It was considered the hub for international students to keep up their fitness, play pool, and hang out. Paul Carter, the manager of the space, shares his thoughts.

Carter started working at the MAC as a manager on the weekends. He enjoyed working with student workers and especially learned a lot from international students, who, in his words, are “the backbone of Seattle Central College.” So, when there came an opportunity for him to step into a managerial role, he took it. “I want my international students to know that here at the MAC, we hear you, we see you, we’re here for you, and that we’re carekeepers of this building. But this building belongs to the students. We want people to know that this place is for you. We have a big space! Come and use it”.

Paul Carter, The Manager of the MAC.
Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian Paul Carter, The Manager of the MAC.

The MAC hasn’t fully come back to its potential since the pandemic, so they are working towards providing programs such as drop-in yoga, boxing, conditioning, martial arts classes, and dance classes. The management team at the MAC is even looking into constructing a climbing wall for students.

Over the years, the population at the MAC has diminished significantly, and for students who don’t use the facilities, Carter has a message: “We are here, and we are here for you. Your money and your fees are paying for this. So come on down and take advantage of the facilities we provide you.” 

The MAC provides various facilities, including reserving rooms or even the gym for club meetings. Recently, the MAC reached out to the Muslim Women’s Association Club about having a program where they can reserve the gym and use one of the rooms for prayer.

Carter believes fitness enhances a person’s life in every aspect – physical and mental – as physical activities release endorphins. He also believes in preaching and doing it: he used to play basketball and football and has a brown belt in Taekwondo. Currently, he practices a variety of dance forms, including Chicago Steppin’, Line Dancing, and Salsa. “Boxing is great cardio and great all-around fitness,” Carter said.

He emphasized that a lot of people didn’t even know about the MAC and its association with the college. So, they are planning events at the Broadway Edison (BE) building in the Atrium, including a pillow fight. The MAC had a laser tag event a few days ago. They are looking into doing a VR gaming event, partnering with Microsoft as they have done in the past. They had Microsoft bring in 15 machines, and room 210 was full of games. They are looking into getting back to the multiple events and student engagement activities they had.

In conclusion, the MAC offers many activities that students often seem to overlook or forget about due to their busy schedules. One thing to keep in mind is that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. As students, our lives are everything but dull; it is simply time to include the MAC in our list of fun activities. Ensure you, as students, use all the facilities that are provided by the college.


Vrindha, an international student from India, is fueled by her fervent love for diverse art forms such as dance, drama, music and theatre. Eager to immerse herself in new experiences and broaden her horizons, she sees her involvement with the Collegian as a gateway to both sharing her passions and delving into new realms of knowledge.

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