The SMC Rec Center at Millersville University

SMC Rec Center

The March 2021 Rec of the Month is the SMC Rec Center, home to Campus Recreation at Millersville University.

CAMPUS RECREATION MISSION

The mission of the department of Campus Recreation at Millersville University (MU) is to provide an opportunity for members of the Millersville community to participate in physical activities that help develop the overall wellness of the participant.

University Values: EPPIIC

  • Exploration
  • Professionalism
  • Public Mission
  • Inclusion
  • Integrity
  • Compassion

DESCRIPTION OF MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY FACILITIES

The Student Memorial Center — known as the SMC, pronounced “smack” — houses a variety of activity spaces for students as well as offices for student organizations. It was named for all students, alumni, faculty and staff who have served in the armed services of the United States. It has been renovated and expanded twice, most recently in 2011. Our largest gymnasium, known as Marauder Courts, and the SMC Rec Center are also housed in the building.

The SMC Rec Center is a facility utilized daily for all students. It contains:

  • Various fitness equipment
  • Indoor track
  • Three-court field house
  • Multi-activities court
  • Two racquetball courts – one of which has been converted into a martial arts room
  • Functional training room
  • Dance studio
SMC Rec Center

The Student Memorial Center (SMC).

The Marauder Courts can be used in many ways, from volleyball courts for intramurals to general recreation play. The multi-activities court (MAC) is an enclosed court featuring basketball hoops, nets for indoor soccer and roller hockey. The enclosed structure makes it the perfect location to host intramural dodgeball, indoor soccer and floor hockey leagues. The field house known as the Marauder Courts, is home to a wide variety of uses for Campus Recreation, Athletics, major events on campus — i.e. job and internship fairs, teacher recruitment days, open houses — and outside conferences and events.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Campus Recreation utilized online services, IMLeagues and the custom Ville Rec app to create safe, reservable stations and spaces within the SMC Rec Center. The temporary restructuring of the facility allowed for the maximum amount of fitness equipment and space utilized, but with safety in mind. The SMC Rec Center restructuring now provides students with safe places to exercise and play for their overall well-being.

This was a well-thought-out plan that involved a lot of collaboration from colleagues across the state in a number of Pennsylvania Intramural Recreation Sport Association (PIRSA) Zoom sessions, sharing of ideas and policies, and from great networks such as those from Advantage Sport and Fitness. Then from there, colleagues across the university from MU’s Environmental Health and Safety Department to Facilities, to the hardworking leaders within Student Affairs and Enrollment Management division, to the amazingly dedicated Campus Rec student staff — teamwork made the dream work to open the Rec Center up for the campus community.

Chryst Field at Biemesderfer Stadium is home to the Marauder football, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field teams, and was completed as part of a major renovation to Biemesderfer Stadium in 2005. A modern synthetic turf surface from FieldTurf, and a new polyurethane eight-lane track were installed. The FieldTurf synthetic grass surface is two and a half-foot tall, with a one-inch combined infill base of cryogenic rubberized pellets and silica sand added to provide stability, comfort and proper traction. The walkway in front of the main grandstand was resurfaced and a new fence was installed.

In addition, the stadium light poles on a reconfigured north bank were raised. The home grandstand received new bleachers and permanent fencing was erected around the playing field in the summer of 2012. This stadium also houses MU’s Campus Recreation department’s intramural soccer and additional flag football space. Two intramural soccer fields can be used on the stadium field, which makes it an excellent site for tournament play. Club sports utilizes this space as a practice location and is also a home field for the Ultimate Frisbee Moose Club.

Brooks Field is MU’s former football field. It is now home to both men’s and women’s club rugby programs. The facilities crew at the university does a fantastic job maintaining and lining the field throughout the year to be used as a rugby club home field. It is also used for independent use for students on campus.

The Pucillo Field Complex includes a competition soccer stadium and 80-yard practice football field for use by intercollegiate athletics and campus recreation. In early 2014, the MU Student Senate approved $2.5 million for the project from funds remaining from the SMC renovations. Both fields feature FieldTurf surfaces and the soccer stadium includes a press box with a top-of-the-line audio system. The men’s and women’s soccer clubs use this stadium for their practices and home events. In addition, men’s club lacrosse also uses this facility for their practices and home events. In addition to using the field for soccer and lacrosse, this field has two backstops, allowing the field to be used for intramural softball and kickball.

SMC Rec Center

Aerial view of Pucillo Gym and fields.

The Pucillo Gymnasium was first completed in 1970 and dedicated in 1971 for a cost of $2 million and most recently underwent renovations in 2008. This gymnasium is an alternate site for intramural volleyball, and an additional fitness center for student, staff and faculty usage. On the second floor of the Pucillo Gymnasium, there are classrooms for wellness classes.

The Pucillo Anttonen Natatorium is located in the same building as the gymnasium, was most recently renovated in 2011 and received additional upgrades in 2019. The renovations included new bleachers with seating for 500 spectators, lighting, blocks and timing devices. This facility allows for recreational swimming for students, staff and faculty. In Campus Recreation’s history, there used to be both a water polo club and a synchronized swimming club that would use the pool area regularly. Intramurals still uses the pool for various tournaments and leagues, such as inner-tube water polo, three versus three pool basketball and battleship.

The McComsey Courts include stands to accommodate 250 spectators, located at the west end of the facility adjacent to court No. 1. It is located in the heart of campus, across from the SMC. The two outdoor basketball courts allow for recreational basketball. More recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, it allowed students to shoot basketballs with one person per hoop as part of the reservable stations and spaces.

The Quad is an open space situation in the student housing complex and is used for various events and recreation space. One large-scale event held annually throughout The Quad includes the organizational outbreak, which provides an opportunity for first-year and new students to connect with student organizations. As a recreation space, it is the perfect green space for the campus community to enjoy. During COVID-19 this space was used for group fitness classes through campus rec. The outdoor setting allowed for proper social distancing guidelines.

SMC Rec Center

Aerial view including the Quad, Biemesderfer Stadium and McComsey Courts.

SMC REC CENTER PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS

The SMC Rec Center conducts a variety of fitness programs such as group fitness, virtual group fitness, personal training and virtual personal training. The classes offered for group fitness classes during COVID-19 are HIIT and Zumba. As the weather warms up, group fitness classes will resume outside to allow for the expansion of additional fitness classes. In addition, the creation of the virtual personal training program began during the spring 2021 semester for students who are not able to make the in-person event. This area of the building is home to a large array of fitness equipment and a brand-new functional training room.

Intramurals

The intramural program conducts approximately 15 sport activities a semester with leagues and tournaments in various divisions – men’s, women’s, coed, open at both competitive or recreational levels. Along with traditional sport leagues and tournament, intramural esports were added to the program in the spring of 2019. At the present time, the program offers nine different esports leagues. Currently, they use use IMLeagues for everything Campus Recreation, including intramurals. This is the first academic year MU has purchased their custom app and consider it a huge win for the department.

Club Sports

Currently, MU has 15 club sports including:

  • Baseball
  • Bowling
  • Dance team
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing guild
  • Ultimate frisbee-moose
  • Ice hockey
  • Martial arts
  • Men’s lacrosse
  • Men’s rugby
  • Men’s volleyball
  • Roller hockey
  • Running
  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s rugby

Club Baseball National Championship.

Recent highlights by club sports:

  • Club baseball of MU won the 2019 Division Three National Championship within the National Club Baseball Association against Missouri S&T by a score of 10 to three.
  • MU dance team placed second in Division II Jazz at the Dance Team Union College Classic National Invitational in 2019.
  • MU men’s club lacrosse made it to the Division II Keystone Conference Playoffs in Spring 2019.
  • MU equestrian rider, Megan McGee, placed fourth in the IHSA Regionals in 2018.
  • MU men’s rugby placed second in their division for the MARC 7s tournament in 2018.
  • MU roller hockey won the 2017-2018 Division Four Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Regional Championship against St. Joseph’s College (N.Y.) by a score of nine to three.
  • Ice hockey has qualified for Colonial States College Hockey Conference League Playoffs four out of the last five seasons and has been regionally ranked, in the southeast region, every one of those seasons.

Outdoor Recreation

The MU ropes challenge course was built in the fall of 2001 by longtime director of Campus Recreation, Dr. Gordon Nesbitt. The course provides a unique teaching environment where diverse groups can experience varying levels of physical, mental and/or emotional risks. The challenge course is a series of activities designed for individual and group participation, regardless of age, physical limitation or ability level. Participants must navigate cables and ropes, either individually or in their group.

The experience is often both physically and mentally challenging. The goal of the program is to concentrate on individual and group skill development by navigating a series of activities, which involve physical and emotional risk and succeeding, or sometimes failing, within a supportive group atmosphere. The challenges presented by the rope’s activities enhance communication skills, cooperation, interpersonal awareness, leadership skills, decision-making and trust-building.

The high ropes course on campus.

Special Events

The Iron Chef Competition is a yearly competition co-sponsored by Campus Recreation and MU Dining Services. The annual event’s judges are regularly the University Chief of Police, theuniversity president’s spouse and a guest judge each year. Several teams made up of MU students, faculty and staff compete to be crowned that year’s Ville Iron Chef champions.

MU Title IX and Campus Recreation have come together to present a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Workshop Series. During this four-week series, the hope is the transformational language used during the sessions will help facilitate a deeper release of stress. This was offered to MU students, faculty and staff as a virtual or in-person event with over 100-plus registering for the first of what is going to be many yoga series offered.

Winter Wellness Wonderland (WWW) is a co-sponsored program by Campus Recreation, Human Resources and Employee Wellness. WWW is a compilation of articles, pre-recorded videos, live Zoom sessions, gameshows and more to inspire over the winter season. These offerings are presented by colleagues.

In response to an increase of virtual programming beginning March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Campus Recreation began hosting weekly Virtual Trivia nights. The weekly trivia games have questions surrounding all aspects of wellness, holidays, themes, MU history and current MU facts. Campus Rec’s virtual trivia has become a new weekly tradition for many individuals, roommates and Marauder families.

The department’s weekly trivia has also partnered with a number of areas on campus to co-host specific weekly trivia nights with more questions pertaining to the co-host’s area. For example, weekly trivia nights have partnered with the Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El Intercultural Center and the President’s Commission on Gender & Sexual Diversity for pride night trivia, with PSECU for a financial trivia, the Department of Housing and Residential Programs for a room selection trivia night, and with various departments on campus that will regularly provide questions.

Puns of Thankfulness: Campus Recreation hosts this semi-annual program during final exam week at the university. The concept is easy: current MU students can write “thank you” cards to any current MU staff or faculty member. The cards are then delivered in the university’s inter-departmental mail to the recipient. The “thank you cards” allow students the opportunity to reflect and thank others within the campus community at the end of each semester.

MU Buddies/Local K-12 Students: In March 2020, Allison Yarrow, Lori Leaman and Dr. Nazli Hardy established with a week a community service opportunity to address the unprecedented mid-semester transition to online learning due to COVID-19. They brought together current MU students who were affected by the sudden campus shutdown and local families who were struggling to help their children navigate with the abrupt online remote learning. Several Campus Recreation student staff and club sport athletes continue to take part in the buddy program to this day.

SMC REC CENTER FUN FACTS

  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, MU’s Campus Recreation department partnered with the campus recreation departments at West Chester University and Bucknell University to host “West BuckVille” Rocket League tournaments. This fun, collaborative event has turned into several tournaments that involve students competing from all three universities, which is streamed live on Twitch for others to spectate.
  • In the fall of 2019, Campus Recreation partnered with Campus Life to offer a “Rec the Quad” event with over 400-plus attendees and featured tabling by all club sports, inflatables, a portable climbing wall and food trucks.
  • Hosted the PIRSA Extramural East Flag Football tournament in Fall 2019. The home team, MU’s “Avengers” won the east championship at the tournament.
  • Allison Yarrow, the interim director of Campus Recreation, is also the 2019-2021 NIRSA state director for Pennsylvania, as well as the president of PIRSA.
  • MU hosted the NIRSA Region 1 conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 2016.
  • The MU intramural program was selected as one of the top 50 intramural programs in the nation by bestcolleges.com in 2015.
  • Gordon Nesbit, director of Campus Recreation for over 23 years, was awarded the NIRSA Award of Merit in Region 1 in 2017.
  • The SMC, which houses the Rec Center, is also home to the university store, a copy shop, bookstore, business office of Student Services Inc, ticket office, banking center, PSECU Education Center, eight meeting rooms, a spacious dining center known as the Galley, a multi-purpose room and various offices. Also located in the building are student organization offices, currently including the Black Student Union, MU Allies, campus newspaper The Snapper, the Student Government Association, University Activities Board and the campus radio station, WIXQ.
  • In the most recent renovation of the SMC, there is now a new look to the space known as Club D‘Ville. Featured in this area is a grab-and-go style vending area, large screen televisions with gaming systems, arcade games and an entertainment stage, a video projection system, and lounge areas, all with wireless internet access throughout the space. This renovation has increased the esports gaming on campus with potential to be a hub for future esports competitions through Campus Recreation.
SMC Rec Center

Marauder Courts’ staff in the SMC Rec Center during COVID-19.

Want to stay up-to-date about the SMC Rec Center at MU?

  • Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Discord: @mucampusrec
  • Instagram: @mu.ropes
Brittany is an editor at Peake Media. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com

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