About a month ago, 40 campus recreation executives gathered at The Phoenician in Phoenix, Arizona.
Networking and fun were large parts of the two-day 2019 Leadership Summit, but the roundtables are definitely a dominate feature. Six topics, ranging from well-being and wellness to esports, were discussed by the attendees. As such, there were a lot of golden knowledge nuggets that came about, as well as universities sharing what they are up to.
1. University of North Carolina Charlotte realized after getting fitness equipment in the library that it created a fitness silo. As such, they are working to get rid of the equipment in that space, hoping students congregate instead in their rec center.
2. Purdue University received a $350,000 endowment for a financial literacy program, and they are in the process of hiring an expert.
3. Northeastern University is looking to globalize recreation as the rest of the university globalizes. This means using five programmatic elements to reach global students, one being gamming in intramural sports, which is different than the commonly spoken about esports – think mobile devices. They are also looking to educate students in gamming about healthy lifestyles and mindfulness. Another element is equipping studios with the necessary technology so students can login from around the world and livestream, as well as access on-demand classes.
4. University of Texas San Antonio hosts an Adventure Therapy program. It ends in a weekend backpacking trip. An outdoorsman and his counselor wife lead the weekend of adventure and therapy.
5. University of California Santa Barbara offers wine tasting and beer education classes to meet the non-traditional side of recreation. The classes are in high demand.
6. The University of South Florida campus recreation analyzes its budget yearly to see who spends what. There is an incentive system in place to encourage increased involvement – for example, staff can earn points for being on a committee.
7. University of Wisconsin Madison sends students up to the Region III Lead On conference. The conference is really beneficial in terms of a positive impact for young professionals.
8. The College of New Jersey had a space for esports on campus, but it was floundering to find support. So, it was moved in as part of the sport club program, allowing the program to get the same management as the rest of the clubs.
9. Southern Methodist University gave up lobby space in order to bring in a Starbucks. However, campus rec gets a $56,000 revenue share from it. The lesson? You might have to give up precious space to make money.
These are just nine of a multitude of ideas that were brought up at the 2019 Leadership Summit. Hopefully one inspires you to take action.
The 2020 Campus Rec Leadership Summit will take place June 17-19, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage in Rancho Mirage, California. New attendee and sponsor spots will open up starting August 1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.