This fall, the NIRSA and National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) boards of directors established a joint task force to conduct an initial scan of the current and desired state of esports on college campuses—especially intramural, club sport, and student organization models. At a fall 2018 NIRSA Board meeting, directors appointed six volunteer NIRSA members to serve with a member of the NIRSA Headquarters team and NACA recently appointed two volunteer members to serve on the task force.

Esports is an emerging area for campus recreation. Students are organizing through various student organizations and administrators are organizing through intramural and club sport models. A varsity model that includes scholarships is also emerging. Senior level administrators, especially at smaller campuses, are leveraging esports as a recruiting tool.

The joint task force will conduct an initial scan of esports on college campuses. They will consider potential opportunities and challenges of esports in a university setting that is focused on the holistic education of the student. The task force will make recommendations to the NIRSA and NACA boards of directors based on their exploration of the following questions:

  • What is the current and future role of campus departments/programs with esports?
  • What questions, education needs, and resource needs do members have?
  • What relationships/collaborations are needed on campus?
  • What external (non-higher ed) relationships/collaborations are needed (e.g. game producers, event producers, sponsors) to have an effective esports program on campus?

The task force will lead some networking opportunities and information sharing experiences in advance of the NIRSA and NACA annual conferences, which have overlapping dates this year. The task force will also lead an education session at the 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference.

Esports Task Force Members

  • Laurie Klein, CRSS, University of North Texas (Chair)
  • Garrett Larson, University of South Florida
  • Mark Deppe, UCI Esports
  • Matt Grimm, RCRSP, Stevenson University
  • Chris Allison, Geex, Inc.
  • Scott Flickinger, Cornell University
  • Courtney James, DePaul University (NACA member)
  • Bruce Steele, Spokane Community College (NACA member)
  • Sarah Leskovec, NIRSA Member Relations Manager
  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Member Relations Manager Sarah Leskovec.
Director of Campus Recreation at |

Kenneth W. Morton is currently the Director of Campus Recreation at Stephen F. Austin State University and is a Past President of NIRSA. Ken can be reached at mortonkw@sfasu.edu.