Why You Need to Get Creative


Based on my observation of the campus rec profession, I’d say creativity is a big part of your job.

Every rec center I’ve been to is accompanied by a story about how this space or that wall had to be reconfigured to fit something else. In order to get in X amount of treadmills or provide the students four functional spaces instead of three, things have to be adjusted and switched around.

Yesterday, I visited an upcoming cover story for Campus Rec Magazine. Touring the facility, I was told stories like the above, and the creativity used in the space’s 2014 renovation was far from lacking.

Even how the students were using the space was creative. Every nook and cranny had a student in it, working out and getting his or her fitness on. I felt like every square inch of space was being utilized, a theme I’ve found at most rec centers.

Whether it’s a space for sit-ups or to hang a TV to display upcoming events, it’s probably being used. Being a big fan of utilizing what you have, I think we can take something away from this.

While everyone wants a brand new facility, or one that’s been renovated recently, it doesn’t always happen. So, campus rec professional, it’s time to wear that creativity hat of yours for 24 hours straight.

Walk around your rec center. Bring along two or three staff members. View your space in terms of what could be, dreaming big. Think about what could go on that empty wall or in that underutilized corner.

Gosh, I even think about all of the racquetball courts out there nowadays. The rec center I visited yesterday converted one into a storage room and another into a functional fitness studio. They couldn’t be torn down due to structural issues, so the team had to get creative in how to use the space versus letting it go to waste. What can you do to use your racquetball courts to the utmost?

You might be wearing your creativity hat already, thinking “Heather, I’m way ahead of you and your blog.” Fantastic! Then get others to put on their creativity caps with you. You can’t have all the great ideas; it’s just not possible. Bring others in to view and critique your rec center, thinking about new ways to use space that’s not being utilized.

What you come up with just might surprise you.

Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at heather@peakemedia.com.

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