Keep Up with Students’ Demands with a Mobile App


Every semester in college, students are forced to adjust to change: a new class schedule, new living arrangements and new extracurricular activities. These are often welcome changes, but one place that students typically don’t want change is at their gym.

Students who rely on their campus recreation centers for physical and mental health want to know the center is there for them when they need it. They want a stress-free experience. That means keeping a consistent operating schedule, robust class schedules and available equipment for workouts when the students want them. If there are going to be changes, it is imperative those are clearly communicated to the student body. Successful rec center operators know that any information has to be delivered in a consistent and actionable way.

Students armed with their mobile phones expect easy access to information from the recreation center each semester. The majority don’t read flyers, visit websites or view social media posts about recreation on their newsfeeds anymore. They want a mobile platform that delivers information to them directly in the form of push notifications and an app that allows them to easily take full advantage of scheduling, reservations and more.

They demand:

  • Quick access to class schedules and the means to effortlessly sign up.
  • Seamless equipment reservation capability.
  • Accurate hours of operation for the center in general and its special areas or affiliated facilities like, basketball courts, the pool, racquetball courts, etc.
  • Real-time occupancy information so they can determine timing that meets their workout preferences.
  • The ability to easily share information with friends.

This is how today’s college students get their information and communicate, so it needs to be your methodology as well if you want to keep them engaged.

For rec center operators, a mobile app can be the perfect tool to empower successful communication, even amid an ever-changing recreation environment. An app is a fast and reliable tool that provides effective communication to rec center members. Apps enable students to take the information you provide and act upon it immediately by signing up for a class, sharing programs with their friends via in-app texting, or reserving a piece of equipment.

On the administrative side, the app platform should also communicate semester changes to rec center staff through admin alerts and allow for reminders about new procedures, classes and/or job responsibilities.

Today’s college student is a sophisticated user of technology and expects mobile tools will provide what they need when they need it. Retailers, restaurants and service providers are increasingly turning to mobile apps to stay connected to their customers. Campus rec centers can follow the same playbook to ensure students are in the know and able to adapt to scheduling or operational changes with as little stress as possible.


Rachel Koretsky is the founder and CEO of upace, a customizable fitness app and mobile platform to communicate, engage and access analytics. She can be reached at or visit

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    James Johnson

    June 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Having an app for every little thing on campus is a poor student experience. Better a campus app that includes rec center info and enables them to push changes to students when necessary.

    Too many emails from too many silos is causing disengagement, having 10 different apps will do the same thing.

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