While at college, students have hectic schedules. Between juggling classes, school work, extracurricular activities and of course their social life, they may struggle to find the time to work out. To help combat this issue and encourage students to maintain a healthy lifestyle, no matter the hour, Syracuse University developed Late Night at the Gym.
Syracuse University Department of Recreation Services has been running Late Night at the Gym for almost two decades now. Wednesday through Saturday the recreation center will open from 10pm until 1am, allowing students to come and participate in a wide variety of activities. According to Ernie Rivera, an assistant director at Syracuse University Recreation Services, they offer classes such as yoga, meditation and salsa dancing. Or if students prefer, they can come and simply use the equipment at the facility to squeeze in a workout or play basketball with a few friends.
In order to determine what programs to offer during Late Night at the Gym, Rivera will send out surveys to the students. “It turns out that our most popular events are yoga and salsa dancing,” said Rivera. “But we have tried everything from Texas Two Step and Zumba classes to three-on-three basketball tournaments. Then we change things up periodically as well.”
According to Rivera, Late Night at the Gym has been a hit with students. They enjoy having a healthy, fun place to spend their time after the day is done. “Everyone really loves it,” he explained. “You have your gym rats that just want to come in and play basketball and then you have the people that want to come in and use the fitness center to work out or take classes. There is a little bit of everything going on.”
If you are considering launching a similar program within your recreation center, Rivera advises seeking student feedback and input to ensure you are offering exactly what they want. “Do surveys to find out what students want to do and what kinds of programs they like,” added Rivera. “What would they like to see happen? Like I said, we tried a lot of different things and then we settled on a few that were very popular. What we found through the surveys was students just wanted a place to come hangout and play. So find out exactly what students are interested in doing.”