Students are constantly wondering when a good time to go to the gym is, if it is busy or not or if a basketball court is open for them to use. At Colorado State University, the students don’t have to wonder, but can get on the website and see for themselves.
At CSU, they have a portion of their site dedicated solely to cameras placed throughout the rec center, along with a count system that allows you to see the number of people utilizing different portions of the center at any given time. Cody Frye, Director of Campus Recreation, explained how beneficial these two resources are for the students to use.
“This is a way people can see either on the video, or just by numbers, what the live count looks like at the gym,” said Frye. “Sometimes we have students tell us they don’t know when its volleyball night at the gym, so they can see the equipment is up now because of the cameras and be like ‘Oh, let’s go play volleyball,’ or they actually see people playing and know it’s a good time to walk over from their residence hall because they know others are playing.”
Another positive aspect to incorporating counts and cameras allows the rec center staff to know when and if they should rent their facility for the use of outside organizations. Through the count system, staff can look through data to know the busy hours and when they are getting the most use from the different areas of their rec.
“The cameras and counts have been really helpful for when we have a group that wants to use the facility or an area of the gym that’s outside of the norm of the hours we would rent,” said Frye. “If they want to rent the gym for a Friday afternoon from 4 to 5, we can go back and look at what our last Fridays have looked like from 4-5 and we can make decision on that. We might realize we shouldn’t rent it for those hours because that’s a time that is popular for the students, or conversely if it’s not really busy at that time we can go ahead and book a reservation.”
Frye explained the counts have also helped their staff know when a good time to schedule repairs and other services for their facility. “The other thing we can use it for is if we have to schedule some maintenance or painting we can use our counts to know when a good day or block of time is that we are going to impact people the least.”
Cameras and counts are a unique way to get your students to your rec center’s website, especially if you have a busy facility. The added benefit is the security and privacy of the students is still protected.
“You can’t capture these pictures, so there’s no way that somebody could take the picture if they saw something on there that they wanted to save,” said Frye. “It’s pseudo-live, one-minute snapshots so we are still protecting privacy a little bit. By making it to where you can’t really see details enough to say ‘Oh, there’s Bob playing volleyball.’”