By Pam Watts
The “Trends in Campus Recreation” webcast—part of Higher Ed Live‘s Student Affairs Live series—took place on Wednesday, June 10 and was facilitated by Tony Doody, Director of Student Life on the five New Brunswick/Piscataway campuses of Rutgers University. NIRSA President Stan Shingles joined Don Stenta, At-Large Director on the NIRSA Board of Directors, and Cara McFadden, of the 2016 NIRSA Annual Conference Program Committee, for a thought-provoking conversation. All three leaders represented the Association and the collegiate recreation profession—not to mention their respective institutions—with distinction.
The webcast was free to attend and a recording of the conversation is archived on the Higher Ed Live website. The live webcast was among the highest attended sessions in the Student Affairs Live series, with 228 individual sites logging in to follow the discussion, with many of the individual sites watching in groups or as a department.
The conversation was focused on trends in collegiate recreation, and discussion points spanned a range of topic areas. Stan, Don, and Cara not only discussed trends in specialty areas of campus recreation like fitness, sport clubs, and aquatics; they also took up underlying principles of the profession like , leadership development , connection of campus recreation’s work to the higher education mission, and holistic approaches to education. Visionary ideas were shared to ingrate all dimensions of wellness through collaborations on campus, leverage data and technology in new ways, and evolve facility design in ways that support diversity and encourage inclusion.
As Stan said:
“Most institutions today are challenged with not only the recruitment of students, but also the retention of students, and student success overall—the total student experience.…We are at a critical point now where departments like campus recreation are vital in terms of the services that they provide these students and, more importantly, how all of these things intersect and integrate at some level to ensure student success.”
Don, Stan, and Cara all cited the value of NIRSA Research Projects and stated that the Association remains committed to supporting research projects that examine the value of collegiate recreation.
As we look forward to the NIRSA Summer Leadership Meetings, NIRSA leaders will be specially attuned to the pulse of the membership. I encourage all NIRSA members to continue the conversation by replying to Stan’s recent post in the NIRSA Community Discussion, getting in touch with @NIRSAPresident Stan Shingles on Twitter, or posting to the comments section of the YouTube archive for this episode of Student Affairs Live.