Technology is everywhere and can be highly beneficial to your rec center. Campus Rec Magazine asked Brittany White, the communications manager of campus recreation at Colorado State University, about the use of technology in the rec center and why other universities should take advantage of it.
CR: What prominent roles does technology have in your rec center?
BW: Campus Recreation at Colorado State University uses technology when it appropriately aids in the positive experiences of our guests. Some of the more obvious ways technology is used in our building include the digital signs outside of our meeting rooms and studios that display the fitness and meeting schedules for each room, digital signs in the lobby that help promote our activities and programs, televisions throughout the entire Student Recreation Center that air entertainment-type programming and the rec cameras.
CR: How has technology benefited your rec center?
BW: Technology has helped us support the University’s commitment to sustainability by cutting down on the use of paper schedules. It has also aided our patrons by providing the most up-to-date information possible through both the digital screens and our website, which was re-launched last year.
CR: Why did you decide to use your rec cameras? What do they do and why are they beneficial?
BW: The rec cameras were launched after continual requests by our students and patrons to provide more real-time information on how busy the Student Recreation Center is at any given time. The cameras provide a still-photo feed that uploads to our website every minute of the most popular spaces in the Student Recreation Center including the weight room, main gym and the fitness floor. The feed is not saved anywhere, and automatically deletes once a new photo is uploaded. The cameras were positioned so that students could see how busy a space was without being able to discern individual faces. The cameras have been incredibly popular with our patrons, allowing them to see if a cardio machine or weight bench is free before coming to our facility to workout.
CR: Do you think the rec cameras deter students from coming? Or do you think they are more helpful? Why?
BW: The rec cameras, along with the facility count graphs also posted on our website, help patrons figure out the best times to workout throughout the day. This information doesn’t deter students from coming to the Student Recreation Center, but instead allows patrons who might have a limited amount of time to better plan their day. We’ve received positive feedback from patrons who say viewing the rec cameras has made it easier for them to use the limited time they have between classes or work more efficiently.
CR: Why should rec centers take advantage of technology like rec cameras?
BW: Deciding on any new technology is a decision that should be made by each rec center individually based on their patrons, campus community feedback, available resources and more. The reason it has worked so well for us is because these types of decisions are carefully considered by a variety of committees, professional staff meetings, student input and campus community feedback.
CR: What tips or advice would you give to rec centers looking to implement new technology into their system?
BW: As stated above, each rec center faces different demands, and decisions must be made for what works best for each individual campus. We’ve had success through careful consideration, vetting processes and again, campus community feedback.