Project Description

Virtual Roundtables
NIRSA Ideas in Motion

Director’s Roundtable

Wednesday, April 29, 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET

Facilitated by Pam Watts with presenters George Brown, Bill Crockett, and Michael Edwards

Register for this Virtual Roundtable Today

In addition to general conversation, this roundtable will focus on planning for reopening.

Chat Transcript

00:31:28Laura Hall

Hi Pam - I see you are recording. Will we be able to access the recording afterwards?

00:32:21Raul Cano

they post them on youtube

00:32:27Jaymie Cox-Garcia

Laura--all of these roundtables are recorded and posted on that same page where you signed up,

00:33:04Pam Watts

yes, recording will be on nirsa website later today

00:34:21Greg Jordan

since Mike is. in GA, what has happened in your rec center since the state haas reopened last week

00:35:06NIRSA Smartboard

Just so everyone has the links, recordings can be found on the Ideas in Motion page on the NIRSA site: and on NIRSA's youtube page:

00:35:40Laura Hall

Great - thank you

00:37:37Chris Morris

Missed opportunities, Mike

00:37:49Brian Cousins - UIC

Mike - Are you working hand-in-hand with your Environmental Health & Safety folks? Who is signing off on your “re-opening” plans in regards to safety and risk management?

00:38:15Ken Morton

Are you worried about losing members to local gyms that do open when you are closed?

00:38:17Greta Giese

Iowa is reopening fitness and rec centers, and we are feeling the pressure. Currently holding out for a May 18 reopening along with our campus.

00:40:36Michael Edwards

We have a senior administration task force that will gather all of the plans and approve. This task force has representation from all areas on campus, which includes EHS.

00:40:59Brian Cousins - UIC


00:41:06Emily McElwain

CO has stated a different allowance for Institutions of Higher Education vs. commercial businesses. Rec and Gyms associated with IHEs will not be allowed to reopen until at least the end of May.

00:42:14Philip Ems

are any universities using surveys to gather input from their students on their desire, perception about returning?

00:42:30Leslie Whitmer

greta giese--can you share any rules/regs you are putting into place please? ie every other machines, face masks needed

00:42:50Michael Edwards

We know we could lose some faculty and staff members but we think our product is better and can stand up to the competition.

00:43:35Kaila Lavin

Philip-we are at Cal State Northridge. An early poll released this week noted a 90%+ commitment of current students who want to return

00:44:01Linda Knight

I love our Presidents take on this - Do Not Worry about Being President - just be Awesome!!

00:44:02Raul Cano

Any protocols: limited number of people in rec, pool open, check out equipment, open play in bb courts limited???

00:44:27Michael Keyser

at Chapman University, we are doing our annual Sky Factor Benchworks survey. There is one specific open-ended question we are asking about student perceptions. The survey is open now and closes in about 1 week. @philip ems

00:44:29Christopher Denison

Two of our local gyms already closed permanently and auctioned their equipment. Our population is 140,000 and we are saturated with clubs. Wondering if more will close as we are a hot spot and our curve is extended.

00:44:33Cindy Strine

Great resources in the shared document. The Recovery Readiness How-To Guide for Reopening Your Workplace from Cushman & Wakefield is a great resource. The whole document has a variety of different resources and ideas

00:44:34Tina Villard

Hi Bill!

00:45:11James Koeppe

Phillip- our Res Halls are having higher return registration than last year. Students want to get back to campus!

00:45:33Philip Ems

Good to hear. Thanks for sharing yall!

00:45:40Greg Jordan

my president is a medical,doctor and she is on the Governor task force

00:45:45Pam Watts

Watch for guidelines for higher education from the CDC to be released in a week or so. NIRSA will watch for this and post to the COVID-19 page as soon as they are available.

00:45:48Jaymie Cox-Garcia

Cindy--where is this shared doc about readiness?

00:46:00Ian Brown

00:46:01Greta Giese

Here in Iowa we will be shutting down every other cardio machine, limiting users in facilities and areas, requiring screening before entry (both members and staff), etc... I have a Phase I plan that I can share - email me at and I’ll send it out. I can share via NIRSA discussions too!

00:46:14Michael Keyser

Mike Edwards - can you share the Mckinsey article you mentioned

00:46:35Jillian Harper

Any recommendations for those of us being furloughed within days…administration isn’t asking for a plan but we will be expected to move forward as quickly as possible when we are going to open?

00:47:08Dean Bowen

@greta who will do the screening before entry?

00:47:39Greg Jordan

Pam can your expand n cdc guidelines for higher?

00:47:42Pam Watts

Also, ACHA (American College Health Association) will be releasing guidelines for re-opening from the student health perspective in the next 1-2 weeks (just after CDC release). NIRSA will make available on the website.

00:48:11Michael Edwards

Several have asked for the article I mentioned. I have sent to Pam, so perhaps she can post or share for all of NIRSA.

00:48:22Daryl Shreve

Curious about any pool protocols people may be putting into place. And if you have an outdoor pool that is currently closed, have your plans for opening been affected

00:48:45Cindy Strine

00:49:11Pam Watts

Yes, I'll post McKinsey article in connect after the roundtable

00:49:41Cindy Strine - go to bottom of page for information

00:50:21Pam Watts

Greg - I don't have a lot of details on the CDC guidelines - other than they are coming and the CDC has been consulting with ACHA on the draft - perhaps other higher ed associations too.

00:50:30Joe Hoff


00:51:08Mark Ritter

Has anyone thought about how they are going to handle the second wave of this virus and the regular flu if it happens mid - late semester?

00:52:50Robb Bolton

Pepperdine admin just announced a scenario to accommodate for late Fall second wave. Plan would call for school to open earlier in August and finish by Thanksgiving. This is a model that other CA schools are now considering

00:54:30Whitney Slater

Washburn University in Kansas is considering that same scenario of being done by Thanksgiving.

00:54:37David Gaskins

Bill, will you be sharing these slides?

00:55:36NIRSA Smartboard

The slides will be captured as part of the recording, which will be accessible on NIRSA's Ideas in Motion page (and also YouTube channel)

00:55:38Bill Crockett

The slides should attach to the presentation but I can share, just email

00:56:50Steve Rey

How much is our reopening dependent on University, State, and National Guidelines

00:57:52Haley Sorenson

Is anyone having people sign new waivers? especially if open to public? not just students?

00:57:55Stan Campbell

We will be dependent on the directed health measures from our Governor and Dept. of Health and Human Services.

00:58:17Devin Roban

Has anyone redrafted their facility waivers?

00:58:17Corina Evans

For those of you that have climbing walls, are there any specific protocols you intend to follow in regards to cleaning the wall?

00:58:40April Flint

Emory has begun these conversations around shared responsibility. Mention of students signing a "social" contract

00:58:52Erin Jennings

does anyone have guidelines re. shared equipment (ie. weights/ treadmills/etc.)?

00:58:57Brian Mills

Texas is reopening a lot of businesses Friday but gyms are not included, but governor said his expectations were mid-May. He is making another announcement for clarification today regarding gyms and fitness facilitirws

00:59:00Kathleen Hatch

think we need to add kindness to the safety and wellbeing core

00:59:05Lance Haynie

@CorinaEvans...we will strip and clean all holds as well as do a sanitizing of our wall surface

00:59:23Ashleigh Lewellen

How are your institutions handling collection of student fees while your facilities are closed? are they still being assessed? Will they if this extends throughout the fall?

00:59:40Stacey Hall

UNH has a health education plan being developed with campus-wide communication plan. Enforcement is going to be a challenge.

00:59:41Earnest Washington

Does anyone operate in collaboration with their local Parks and Recreation?

00:59:46Michael Keyser

@lance - what do you use to sanitize the wall surface?


Has anyone discuss virtual summer camps offerings?

00:59:56Linda Knight

Everything we are doing right now has to be University Mission Critical - very different than Mission Optimal. We are working to find data on supporting all of our programs are Mission Critical - would welcome any thoughts from my colleagues on this call.

01:00:03Jillian Harper

We will have no student fees collected over summer due to the fact that we are only doing remote classes over the summer.

01:00:29Katherine Beaumont Doss

does anyone have an example return to work/recover plan that breaks out by 100% remote, 80%, 60% remote etc (or other % breakdown) with programming, staffing, ops?

01:00:33Kate Harmon

Would love to hear some plans from smaller departments where people have multiple hats. Thinking specifically of planning including potential budget cuts.

01:00:46Bill Crockett

Linda I like the term mission optimal.

01:01:14Linda Knight

Everything we are doing right now has to be University Mission Critical - very different than Mission Optimal. We are working to find data on supporting all of our programs are Mission Critical - would welcome any thoughts from my colleagues on this call. if you would rather email me - please do at

01:01:18Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

@Kathleen Hatch - so important! and we need to consider the mental well being of staff and participants. Shaming has become a huge component of this pandemic and will continue when everyone has a different idea of what health and safety looks like - we need to ensure the mental well being i.e. anti-bullying, shaming, KINDNESS!

01:01:41Deirdre Reich

Small, residential school question.Although we might be more of a high risk area, certainly Res Halls and dining and classrooms are just as high risk. Are any small universities collaborating with these areas?

01:02:01Anna Champion

Yes - smaller departments, Kate…and many hats!

01:02:10Linda Knight

Bill Crockett - I do also, but we have to reach above that.

01:02:30Bill Crockett


01:02:51Deirdre Reich

I just think there has to consistancy across campus so students and employees can adapt.

01:03:01Haley Sorenson

We are planning on having patrons reserve their space in 1 hour blocks

01:03:24Ian Brown

@Haley, which service are you using for that?

01:03:26Erin Farrar

@haley what software are you using to do this

01:03:32Tina Villard

@Haley, we are planing the same thing!

01:03:43Jeff Heiser

@Ruchelle Dunwoody- At UC Davis, we have discussed virtual summer camps but do not plan to offer anything beyond at home resources. Our thought is kids are online enough right now with distance learning. There is a great Facebook group discussing camps and COVID-19 with some great ideas about virtual programming.

01:03:48Lashica Thomas

What is that called

01:03:55Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

video software cameras can identify number of people in a space

01:03:58Haley Sorenson

we have an employee in our tech department who used to write software, he currently has one for us that we use for our racquetball courts

01:04:17Bob Gough

If you are moving toward limiting access, or taking reservations, don't forget to think about the spaces outside where people will be lining up to get into the building.

01:04:23Perry Karnofsky

Perry from McGill - in the process of developing scenarios programming for i) no students on campus, sports complex closed; ii) no students on campus and building open; iii) students on campus, building open with social distancing measures in place

01:04:30Brian Mills

@tina same with us....we are also disussing alternating closure periods but leaning towards space shut downs instead of full facility closures.

01:04:32Chris Morris

We are looking into space or equipment reservations as a way to control access at FSU

01:04:45Ken Morton

Where is the line between us providing cleaning and such that will never be 100% disinfected vs putting the onus on patrons to take care of themselves and not touch fa e, wash hands, etc... Somewhere in the middle is my guess. What verbiage will you use to communicate that?

01:04:57Greg Jordan

if masks are required, will students work out wearing them?

01:05:10Rodo Leone (he/him)

Hello everyone, I would like to share that along with the lenses of Admin, User, and Risk Management we are also having to use of the Equity lenses.

01:05:16Robb Bolton

@kate harmon Kate, we are a small school with only 4 professional staff for C Rec. I am expecting budget cuts and potential layoffs so I have my Rec Sports and Outdoor Rec coordinator getting certified at Personal Trainers so they can pivot to helping with our online personal training should our campus be online this Fall and this would allow me to justify keeping them on payroll

01:05:19Rodo Leone (he/him)

This is great!

01:05:34Greg Homol

Anyone have plans or thoughts on free weight areas where spotters are recommended?

01:05:49Bob Gough

Locker Room are also a hot spot

01:05:52Dean Bowen

IF open recreation is deemed wishful due to guidelines- we made relocate our fitness center to our open rec space so most, if not all equipment is accessible

01:06:15Brian Mills

we are discussing closing locker rooms and only using family chaging rooms as well as closing all locker usage

01:06:35Deirdre Reich

I agree George.

01:06:51Haley Sorenson

our Governor (Wyoming) has made very clear orders for gyms to open

01:06:54Philip Ems

Good thought. When do we ever rollback some of these guidelines?

01:07:03Erin Farrar

for our climbing components we are looking in to adding washing stations and using liquid chalk that is alcohol based

01:07:03Haley Sorenson

we have to screen all employees before each shift

01:07:04robert taylor

AORE has a great resource page for some of the Climbing Wall well as CWA

01:07:13Leslie Whitmer

We're being asked to provide guide lines for the opening of several outdoor related facilities: tennis courts; open playing field with 2 pairs of soccer goals, sand volley ball and outdoor basketball court. Any protocal suggestions on numbers, what is allowed to be played using 6ft social distancing. Leslie, Embry Riddle

01:07:44Deirdre Reich

What, if any, liability issues are there with screenings?

01:08:01Haley Sorenson

it is also in the governor’s order that staff has to clean after patrons

01:08:17Mark Ritter

Are our students and staff equipped to be social distancing Police

01:08:37Brian Cousins - UIC

@KenMorton - very important point you bring up - we need to be very careful regarding our messaging - we don’t need to contribute to the false sense of security - we can’t control the behavior of our participants and in the end, their behavior will trump any changes we make in our “normal operation”


State of North Dakota released a whole series of guidelines for state fitness centers and gyms that we will be following as we work toward re-opening. It includes phased re-openings, physical distancing requirements (Group Ex participant sq footage), gathering sizes etc.

01:08:47Brian Mills

State of Alaska -

01:09:33Mirum Washington-White

Spot on David!


From North Dakota-last two pages are specific to fitness centers:

01:09:40Chris Morris

WE are most definitely going to encourage (financially) paid personal training clients to utilize Zoom from Home sessions… that has been one of those “wins” we hope to take from this situation into more “normal” operations

01:09:51Linda Gundrum

One of my biggest concerns is even the availability of cleaning supplies. That is going to keep us open over a long period in this environment

01:10:04Janice DeMonsi

I think that is why is CA - Stage 3 is gyms opening.

01:10:09Steve Rey

our challenges are going to be that every state has different guidelines

01:10:11Mark Ritter

Have we thought about the effect of diminished athletic teams and these athletes requesting these same sports from us in the Sports Club arena?

01:10:27Chandra Kohler

If we all need wipes...are there enough Gym Wipes to handle the need?

01:10:30Cindy Strine

@Linda - good point. We are seeing multiple month waits on key supplies

01:10:52Pam Watts

Is anyone challenged to get the PPE/cleaning supplies that you need?

01:10:55Mike Widen

We've started to model staffing up to enforce social distancing and have about 3-4x the cost in employees. Add in the fact that we'll be losing a lot in membership revenue.

01:11:05Haley Sorenson

we’ve been having issues with ordering hand sanitizer

01:11:17Tanya Angus

What are people thinking about for sport clubs and intramurals in terms of running? Go/NO Go for Fall?

01:11:40Christopher Denison

I am also concerned about shared facilities with PE and Athletics and what you cannot continue could lead to a vacuum of future space use and program offerings.

01:11:41Janice DeMonsi

We educate patrons on that for MRSA already and we say you have to wash your hands and shower post workouts to be safe

01:11:45Steve Rey

If the NCAA and NFHS opens up their sport seasons should we follow there guidelines for our competitive programs

01:11:46Tristan Leonhard

For IMs/Clubs in the fall, I am watching for what the NCAA is going to do

01:11:54Cindy Strine

We are re-imagining our clubs and intramurals - looking at new and different opportunities.

01:11:55Ali Cross

Tanya, I assume no go but waiting for NCAA info

01:12:02Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

What are supermarkets doing with regard to responsibility? They voice social distancing but there is no enforcement. They put guidelines but don't enforce it - will rec centres have the same freedom to voice but not enforce?

01:12:24Ken Morton

Good point MArc

01:12:30Tina Villard

Right Bill, user has to be part of this!

01:12:41Chris Suriano-UND

IM Sports Guideline from State of ND: Discontinue group sports (basketball, soccer, hockey, etc.)

where more than 10 participants are playing at the same time, including participants on the bench or on shifts until such time social distancing recommendations are suspended

01:12:44Haley Sorenson

yes marc, my staff is required to wear masks, but supermarkets here are not

01:12:44Lashica Thomas

Are questions being asked during the screens or is just temperature checks?

01:12:47Mary OMahoney

Yes, we just can't and that's the reality. The message has to be that our participants are part of our efforts to keep them and everyone else safe by doing the things we are recommending while using the building -wipe down before/after etc. etc.

01:12:48Deirdre Reich

There has to be a great effort on the part of university to educate students on safety for all areas of campus. Make it part of every day life.

01:13:11Brian Mills

we are also adding commercials on Neptune radio with the similar commercial at grocery stores and removing almost all other commercials.

01:13:24Pam Watts

Does anyone have relationships with universities in China that have already gone through a re-opening process that we can learn from?

01:14:20Kate Harmon

Same thing applies in housing.

01:14:50Greta Giese

We are going to check with college attorney and insurance about waivers and forms.

01:14:55Linda Gundrum

I did that when we were considering if we should remain open when this all started. Did not promise perfectly clean areas, only told what we think we can handle according to what our resources are.

01:15:17James Koeppe

Also true in the classroom. Keeping 6' apart and cleaning between classes!?

01:15:20Haley Sorenson

@greta we are too

01:15:36Linda Knight

I agree with David B but we have to realize this could be at the cost of losing staff.

01:15:48Kathleen Hatch

anyone eliminating all children during the transition

01:16:45Dave Elton

We have been getting interesting updates from our APC Team. 13,000 Health Clubs in China are re-opening. The most interesting stat “Many Clubs are at 90% of member visits within the first month”

01:17:06Gansheng Xu

What about water fountains and locker rooms? Do you allow shower facility available?

01:17:20Greta Giese

Some of my colleagues in Iowa are restricting kids <18.

01:17:23Haley Sorenson

our governor ordered all locker room (except for restroom) closed

01:17:27Mark Ritter

@Kathleen Nooo, don't eliminate the children!

01:18:00Denise Ditch

Haley--what state?

01:18:05Haley Sorenson


01:18:24Chris Suriano-UND

Close locker rooms and shower facilities to public for uses other than bathroom / restroom use.

01:18:27Haley Sorenson

I can share his orders that he released yesterday

01:19:12Linda Gundrum

YES, pls!

01:19:36Greg Jordan

yes Pam

01:19:37Linda Knight

Pam, it would be very helpful.

01:19:39Ali Cross

yes, Pam, it could stay high level like CDC on fitness and recreation spaces

01:19:41Christopher Denison

Will the Senate's new liability bill include protections for fitness facilities?

01:19:41Teresa Clements

Any framework or structure would be greatly appreciated!

01:19:42Mike Widen

Pam, I think that would be a valuable resource.

01:19:45Monica Verity

Yes for small schools with lack of staff as well as east coast - Boston, NY, MD will not be opening soon

01:19:47Greta LeDoyen

I belive IRHSA already put something like that out.

01:20:04Jaymie Cox-Garcia

I'm at a smaller school and we don't have the access to a legal team, etc., so any framework you can help provide would be very valuable to us.

01:20:10Marci Iverson

Yes please! I have to submit a draft plan by May 14th for the start of the school for multiple scenarios. Final plan due June 4th to our cabinet and deans.

01:20:24Philip Ems

Not sure how a shared restroom is ok but a locker room isnt?

01:20:29Brian Cousins - UIC

For those opening later than others, will definitely be helpful to learn from others’ experiences, successes and failures

01:20:35Ken Morton

We need to be careful how things are worded to make sure it does not become a "standard of care" that some schools would not be able to meet.

01:20:36Gansheng Xu

18 Safety Considerations for Your Health Club Reopening Plan | IHRSA

01:20:51Linda Knight

Pam - this is Linda Knight - I would be willing to serve on this committee

01:21:40Leah Hall Dorothy

Thanks @Linda Knight

01:22:06Robb Bolton

I would be happy to represent small schools for committee.

01:22:17Greg Jordan

maybe 2 task force: short term and longer term

01:22:23Haley Sorenson

I would love to represent small schools too on this task force

01:22:31Joe Cassidy

It might be more expedient and not as heavy a lift if proposed operational recommendations were broken down by functional areas ...a group of aquatics professionals focusing on pools, outdoor rec colleagues focusing on operating recommendations for climbing walls, etc.

01:22:33Eugene Sessoms

How does the group feel about sending inexperienced student workers to the front lines to disinfect the facility and equipment? We know what the professional health care workers suit up in and what training they have had with infectious diseases. Are we putting those students at unnecessary risk?

01:23:37Greta Giese

@JoeCassidy good idea!

01:23:53Erin Jennings

I’m the Assistant Director at UTHSC. We are a graduate medical school. I would consider serving on a task force.

01:24:08Anna Champion

Thanks, Laurie!!

01:24:25Tina Villard

@Eugene all employees at Rice will need to go through university training on PPE and safety protocol before being able to work.

01:24:38Robb Bolton

helpful reopening guidelines from IHRSA for fitness facilities -

01:24:41Amy Swingle

Providing guidelines could also help push back against the private gym lobby that got gyms listed in Phase 1.

01:24:47Suzette Smith

I agree with Laurie, as a small school with a small staff, this is valuable.

01:24:53Cindy Strine

Agreed Laurie, Recommendations from NIRSA go a long way for sharing with upper administration

01:25:01Deirdre Reich

Thanks Laurie!

01:25:03Marci Iverson

Agreed! Thank you Laurie!

01:25:05Monica Verity

Yes! Laurie

01:25:06Brian Mills

@Eugene what tina said. We have said we need at least two to three weeks lead time to work with staff (not just on training but ensuring they want to come back and understand risks, etc).

01:25:06Denise Ditch

Laurie- You're spot on in terms of being a small school and needing "leverage" by an organization like NIRSA!

01:25:10Greta LeDoyen

YES! Laurie!

01:25:16Jaymie Cox-Garcia

Yes Laurie!

01:25:17Hollie Power

Laurie for the win!

01:25:26Emily Piercey

Thanks for bringing your teddy bear to the meeting Steve Rey. Gives me a sense of comfort talking about these significant issues.. - Kim Schmidt

01:25:28Gansheng Xu

Great points Laurie!

01:25:38Bill Crockett

Great point Laurie


And that gives us (small schools) leverage to show the benefit of a professional membership to NIRSA as budgets start to cut those types of expenses :) Keep up the great great work NIRSA folx!!!!!

01:26:27Pam Watts

thanks to all for volunteering - we'll be in touch soon!

01:26:28Jaymie Cox-Garcia

Agreed Krisi!

01:26:28Devin Roban

Great point Laurie! - smaller school here in NYC. We’re very much learning how to reinvent here…

01:27:18Tina Villard

Yes, Laurie! Bye everyone, it was great seeing y’all!

01:27:18Linda Gundrum

Smaller/med schools rely a lot on cross campus collaboration for shared resources and ideas

01:28:50Deirdre Reich

Thanks to all for sharing!

01:29:38Wendy Windsor

Thank you everyone for sharing! Great discussion.

01:29:45Ken Morton

Thanks for providing this resource!

01:29:51Greta Giese

Thanks, everyone! If you are curious about what Northwest Iowa is doing, send me an email at! I’ve already sent quite a few emails to some of you 👍🏻

01:29:54Bryan Ford

This was extremely helpful. Thanks all!

01:30:03Laura Munroe

Thanks everyone!

01:30:06Erin Farrar

Thank you all for the discussion and proactive ideas!

01:30:07Lindsey Logue

Would love to see a task force put together specifically for small schools.

01:30:15Denise Ditch

Thanks to all. Great conversation of sharing and let's keep doing what we do best!!

01:30:25Mick McComber

Thanks, all. Take care.

01:30:30Mat Allred

Thanks to all! Very helpful

01:30:31Devin Roban

Thanks everyone. Great conversation!

01:30:32Jeff Heiser

Thank you all.

01:30:39Corbin Hedges

YES! keep doing them!

01:30:39Blair Schuyler

Thanks, everyone! Great discussion. We are in this together!

01:30:42Phil Locante

Thank you!


Thanks all!

01:30:43Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

Excellent discussion - thank you everyone for your thoughts, passion and care!

01:30:46rhonda powers

thank you all

01:30:46Lashica Thomas

Thank you

01:30:46Corbin Hedges

yes Lindsay

If you have an idea or would like to facilitate an upcoming caucus or forum please email