At NIRSA, every time a campus rec professional approached our booth I asked, “How can we serve you better?”
I got some awesome feedback — I’m surprised my head is still the same size because they said really nice things — and some ideas I took back to the team to consider.
One idea was to highlight smaller schools. Sure, the LSU’s and Ohio State’s are amazing to feature. They have fantastic amenities and incredible staff. But so do the little guys. And seeing how they are also part of our readership, I suppose I didn’t want them to keep feeling left out. The feedback I received also noted there are some key differences between large and small school campus rec centers; while some things apply to both, there are some things that only apply to one or the other.
So, we took your feedback and in July/August you’re going to see a smaller school grace the cover — we’ll be featuring a smaller university campus recreation center/department in Iowa… any guesses?
In a recent trip out there, I met the team of 2.5 people. The administrative assistant only works part time, thus making her a half. I was given a tour of the newly renovated facility. The student staff were in and out of the office; the pro staff shared the space with grad assistants and undergraduates alike. But they all laughed and chatted like old friends, planning together and working as a team.
Another big factor of the rec center is that it’s a shared facility. Three departments use the space, making communication essential and collaboration beneficial. The director shared with me how the rec center is often full to the brim of activities, sports and students. Classes, athletic practice and just the average Joe working out all share the space.
It was a delight touring the building, seeing how the other side lives. I’ve been to plenty of rec centers to know that they are all unique and all very special. I suppose that is one thing I truly love about my job: the opportunity to see what you all do every day. It’s an amazing thing, serving your students and catering to their needs. And what passion it takes to do so!
With all of that said, keep doing what you’re doing and we will do the same. Share with me any ideas or feedback on the publication; we are here to serve you. And look out for the July/August cover featuring the first small university!