Campus recreation is often considered an add-on to the college experience. Studying, making friends and finding time for sleep are considered the most important priorities for a student, and as a result, the importance of recreational activities is often forgotten.
To show the benefits — and in many ways, necessity — of balancing academics with a healthy lifestyle, Drexel University began the Balanced Project.
The Balanced Project is a marketing campaign from the recreational athletics department at Drexel that showcases the importance of an active lifestyle for students with a wide array of interests, backgrounds and majors.
“It really began as a surface-level marketing campaign to show students working out in their attire for what they were aspiring to be in the classroom and in their professions later,” said Andrew Case, the manager of sales and marketing, department of athletics, at Drexel University.
The promotional material, comprised of a diverse student group participating in their favorite workouts and sports, is demonstrative of the balanced lifestyle all college students should hope to achieve.
“If you take a look at the photos, we run the gamut of majors, professional career goals and people from all backgrounds,” said Case.
But this campaign wasn’t always intended to reach Drexel’s campus on such a huge scale. “The campaign itself really took a life of its own — we started off with about four to six people and when students got wind of us doing this project, they started to tell others and those people started to volunteer,” said Case.
Now with at least 12 students and several staff members featured, the Balanced Project has grown from a small campaign to a campus-wide representation of the reach and influence of campus recreation at Drexel.
“The Drexel recreation center and recreational athletics mission this year for our students is wellness and inclusion,” said Case. “We were really fortunate to give people a scope of wellness and inclusion within the rec center walls.”
Beside simply showcasing students’ favorite programming, the Balanced Project also actively serves as a networking tool for current and prospective students looking to find a friend group with a similar major, hobby or background.
“If you’re an aspiring student coming to Drexel, you’ll have a place to help live an active lifestyle and you can be a part of the Drexel community,” said Case. “It’s insightful for students applying to Drexel, as well as their parents. They can see the website and know their kids can go to the rec center and carve out time to be healthy.”
This commitment to encouraging a healthy, balanced lifestyle is a product of Drexel’s overall mission of helping students develop themselves through academics and recreation.
“We want to promote a healthy lifestyle, we want to foster a culture committed to engaging our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and we want to do it through experiential learning and diverse programs,” said Case.
And as the Balanced Project continues to grow and showcase more lifestyles, Case’s hope is the campaign can truly reflect Drexel’s ideals for years to come.
“I really want this to be a testament to who we are,” said Case. “Our mission and our values in recreational athletics are so important, and they’re something we live out every day.”