Project Description

Virtual Roundtables
NIRSA Ideas in Motion

Director’s Roundtable

Wednesday, May 6, 9:30am PT / 12:30pm ET

Facilitated by Pam Watts

Register for this Virtual Roundtable Today

Chat Transcript

00:36:08Michael Giles

Communication and positive messaging!

00:36:46Lance Haynie

possibilities include member email, signage, and updated COVID resources page on our websiter

00:37:57Haley Sorenson

We’ve talked about a short little infomercial, our marketing team did a video about how “we’re all in this together” after students were sent home to finish school. so we’re looking at releasing a little video (2-3 min tops) about shared responsibility

00:38:14Anthony U of Central Arkansas

@Stefani: who puts the tags on the machine?

00:39:00Stefani Plummer

@Anthony as I read it, the user. The document was pretty great. It was just guidelines but it was worded in a way that I am going to use a lot of that for our task force.

00:39:02Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

I think the challenge isn't knowledge - though important - and signage will help - but dealing with "deniers" who will try and buck the system and put staff and patrons in conflict and risk - then it becomes Educating vs Enforcing.

00:39:36Kevin George

Also mirror student unions physical distancing, hygiene guidelines to have some consistency... We are both high traffic, high germs, high activity areas.

00:40:14Kenneth Morton

In Texas we have cattle prods Marc:) JK

00:40:34Stefani Plummer

@Ken send some our way!

00:40:43Stefani Plummer

The article I referenced:

00:40:45Stefani Plummer

00:40:48Debbie Roberts

Ha Ha Ken!

00:41:15Peter Mumford

Feasibility is one of the main areas of evaluation that York University is undertaking to determine whether or not we will open our building.

00:42:09Kevin George

Working in campus rec is hard enough for student employees with already best practices for safety/health/risk, but now another covid-19 policy enforcement/conflicts to enforce rules to patrons and peer staff are another stressor for our employees who may already have anxiety of new procedures

00:42:11Adam Pruett

Here at Facebook we have organized 7 key principles that will followed by all departments as we organize new policies and procedures. 1. Keep Staff Safe, 2. Build Member Trust; focus on their health and safety, 3. Recommend a gradual, phased resumption of services, 4. Maintain and enforce the six-foot rule, 5. Sanitize sanitize sanitize, 6. Communicate with intention, 7. Be creative with post-COVID19 Programming…

00:42:19Anthony U of Central Arkansas

Yes Marc. NBC News had an article about mask wearing culture.

00:44:44Kenneth Morton

Marc is that significantly different than how we handle dress code and people who violate that. Respectfully intervene and let them know the policy, if it continues ask to leave? But you have some good point about the culture change and outrage politics this creates.

00:44:50Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

Ha Ha @Kenneth we got them in Alberta too!

00:44:53Ian Brown

I think the situation dictates a fundamental shift in our, and our team's leadership style. We might need to shift away from that mentor/developer/coach role to the dictatorship. It's analogous to leading a group through a white water rapid.

00:46:40Haley Sorenson

Good points Kevin!

00:47:09Haley Sorenson

How do we create a ‘safe, inclusive space’ with all these new policies and procedures?

00:47:27Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

saw this shared by a fitness club:

100% of the costs

30% of the revenue

50% restricted areas

40% contracted cleaning

Comes back to WHO are we serving? Do we create an exclusive process for the sake of revenue? How are the STUDENTS feel and want from their rec centre?

00:47:55Autumn Johnson

Anyone restricting masks for patrons while they are working out because of lack of oxygen flow? I feel suffocated at the grocery store just walking around. :)

00:48:06Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

Plus added cleaning, policies, enforcement, training, communication above what we did before.

00:48:51Mike Medina

Has anyone changed their waiver language to specifically address COVID?

00:49:09Kim Schmidt

Forgive me if this has already been covered but has the group talked about staff responsibility regarding emergency protocols. Roughly one third of our professional and student staff are trained as AMR Professional Rescuers and we're attempting to understand what that means. Our Risk Mgt team is hesitant to make a decision and is asking us to look to see what others are doing nationally.

00:49:20Stefani Plummer

@Mike I looked at ours and "illness" is included so I am suggesting not adding anything specific

00:50:14Kevin George

Yes Kim...we have major concerns of saving individuals based on physical distancing and most of our staff are not professional rescuers using the bag valve mask system. This is for our front line staff and especially lifeguards.

00:50:59Wendy Motch-Ellis

Can anyone share how they’re working with athletic programs in shared spaces with potential openings coming sooner vs later and demands of athletics with balancing student fee funded spaces and who has access if were trying to keep areas off-line for first or second phasing in of opening?

00:51:09Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

that sounds like great support Greg!

00:51:23Jaymie Cox-Garcia

If your institution is having guests sign up for times, what program are you using to manage that task?

00:51:40Ian Brown


00:51:54Stefani Plummer

@wendy we have just started this conversation but we are waiting on the task force to give us guidelines.

00:52:04Troy Vaughn

Is anyone planning to take/required to take temperatures before entering their rec centers?

00:52:07Jaymie Cox-Garcia

Thanks Ian

00:52:15Greg Hansen

We are looking at Infrared Thermography Technology for mass screening at entrances. We will see how it goes, demonstration tomorrow.

00:52:33Anthony U of Central Arkansas

@Troy: yes.

00:53:01David Gaskins

Our Student Health is recommending screening questions instead of using "no touch" thermometers that are not very accurate.

00:53:13Stefani Plummer

@Troy most likely

00:53:15Cindy Strine

UT-Chattanooga has decided against taking temperatures. Our medical staff is concerned about HIPAA violations as it pertains to this.

00:53:18Troy Vaughn

Interesting - when it's 105 here in AZ - students and members walking to the rec will have elevated temps...

00:53:20Dei Reich

I would only do temp screenings if it is being done across campus. Classrooms etc

00:55:27Anthony U of Central Arkansas

@Troy: Other school in our town is giving a 5 minute grace period, if over 100.4. In case of running/riding in and/or outside temp.

00:59:09Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

I love the creativity and innovation to change - the fear is that as we limit participation and focus on those ingrained in a sport and rec culture, are we going to be able to be inclusive? Virtual programming is going to touch a few who are able to participate but we will be leaving a lot of vulnerable students out in the cold.

00:59:39Stefani Plummer

@Mark YES! We have changed our focus on how do we do this virtually to how do we create unique programming. We may not be able to offer the same things we have offered before

01:00:05Peter Mumford

Sorry, not familiar with AAE???

01:00:09Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

Janice brought up a great point about engaging those incoming students who will not have facilities and programs to help integrate them.

01:00:15Kevin George

I really think that finding virtual programming that gets people off screens is so important if people cannot be on campus and they only use screens to check-in on something that gets them outside or active (ex: photo scavenger hunts). I think asking people to be on screens more and more may wear on them and if the activity requires more than 30-45 min of screen to constantly engage, it may be something they pass on.

01:00:36Steve Thompson

Association for Experiential Education

01:00:45Kevin George

Also MIchelle Cummins has been very active on the virtual programming facebook group and her website has free virtual teambuilding and icebreakers

01:00:52Peter Mumford

Thank you......called something different in Canada

01:00:53Stefani Plummer

@Kevin YES! I have heard "online saturation" used over and over by students

01:01:49Peter Mumford

Dealing with labour issues due to unionized environment

01:01:59Kenneth Morton

Yes Kevin, Michelle is great.

01:02:00Wendy Motch-Ellis

We have staff with cautious concerns

01:02:05Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

how do we use virtual to produce outcomes of engaged and connected students rather than just a format to deliver pre-existing activity programs? shift the lens to the student need rather than a way to deliver programming.

01:05:05Adam Pruett

We have concerned staff and given the our office spaces we will have to reorganize or plan out how every employee will be safe at work. Overlapping schedules, physical office changes, then individual concerns addressed

01:05:55Kenneth Morton

We are meeting today to discuss how this changes our First Aid/CPR protocols. Is it mask, gloves, BVM? Likely we will have staff wearing cloth masks but if responding to emergency, switch to N95 located in the safety bag and proceed as before. But a work in progress.

01:06:59Kevin George

We are scheduling parent Q&A for orientations, so we want to be transparent but positive that we'd love to go back as much as possible to the "normal" on campus activities, but also inform them we have plans in place based on university, state, and CDC guidelines for hybrid or changed processes for facilities, programs, services, and staffing.

01:07:23David Gaskins

Does anyone have a process on the campus for "approving" your reopening plans?

01:07:54Haley Sorenson

We have to have it approved by our President, then approved by our public health officials

01:08:19Stefani Plummer

@david there is a task force that will, i imagine, take it to the President and Executive Counsel

01:08:33Haley Sorenson

So we took the order, and created a document that addresses each component

01:08:36Janice DeMonsi

Our reopening plan will follow all rules and guidelines from public health and then our EOC- operations which includes EHS will approve from there

01:08:40Marci Iverson

@David we are to provide a draft plan to the COVID response task force which will then go to cabinet and deans June 4

01:09:02Kenneth Morton

We have to have approval by Health and Safety but have done a virtual walk through with some CDC folks to give us good feedback.

01:09:15Kevin George

Wellness Center, Student Unions, Residential Life best practices for coming back from COVID-19

01:09:26Stefani Plummer

Would love a roundtable with those who are already open and they highs/lows of what they are dealing with

01:09:27Kenneth Morton

Have to get approval from Health and Safety still.

01:09:42Greg Durham

@David - Creighton’s reopening plan will need be approved by our Critical Incident Response team, who is running point on COVID19

01:09:45Janice DeMonsi

I think Orientation or just discussing here what are we doing for the online/virtual orientation. We just determined ours will be virtual and now we need to start planning for that.

01:09:48Dei Reich

Student centers, athletics, dining

01:10:56Peter Mumford

Industry leading organizations - Fitness, Aquatics, Equipment Specialist, NSO's

01:12:01Michael Giles

AORE and their recommendations and possible suggested guidelines related to Outdoor Recreation.

01:12:10Corbin Hedges

@Stefani a roundtable of those who are already open would be an excellent idea even for those of thus that are not open yet! I would very much be interested in this

01:12:30christopher denison

AORE is meeting at 1pm today.

01:12:44Stefani Plummer

@Corbin. I should have said "panel" because I just want to listen in :)

01:13:00Ian Brown

Anyone navigating overseeing Cheer divisions too? I'd love to connect to discuss.

01:13:44Jaymie Cox-Garcia

Are any of you considering changing your waivers when you open? If so, what are you adding?

01:14:04Gareth C - Queen's U

Found this to be an interesting framework from Australis Institute of Sport for re-booting from rec to high performance...

01:14:07Dei Reich

I do oversee the cheer team and coach. We really haven't gotten anything figured out at this point. But will be working on it.

01:14:22Stefani Plummer

@Jaymie No, because ours includes "illness". I would rather not add specifics, but of course it is up to legal

01:14:24Peter Mumford

What is the temperature with the NCAA running a full slate of sports come September? Some question in Canada for our varsity sports

01:14:57Stefani Plummer

@Gareth thanks!

01:15:04Max, Swarthmore College (he/him)

NCAA put out this article yesterday -

01:15:06Greg Durham

@jaymie - I have asked legal to revaluate our waivers. If they suggest changes, we will make them.

01:15:15Max, Swarthmore College (he/him)

It is a very in depth initial document/guideline

01:15:17Adam Pruett

@Peter, the NCAA just posted their guidelines to get back to participation.

01:15:54Linda Gundrum

@ Adelphi U. For a smaller school, athletic teams will be seen as a priority and Kevin's point about advocating for figuring out a way to allow someparticipation for their socialization. retention, etc is very good.

01:16:16Linda Gundrum

fOr our sports club and IM folks

01:18:15Brigitte Lossing

@Stefani. Agree with this "Would love a roundtable with those who are already open and they highs/lows of what they are dealing with"

01:18:56Jaymie Cox-Garcia

It's going to be interesting to see how retention and enrollment are impacted if one college chooses to open at a higher level than another institution.

01:19:13Kenneth Morton

Is anyone else looking at moving staff to other areas to A) give them work to do B) help them build new skills/competencies to further their careers? If so how? What?

01:19:14Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

It will be a huge disruptor to our current system - we were struggling as a n industry prior to the pandemic - to think we will go back to normal is unthinkable. Our industry will be pulled again to prove its worth. We need to change our lens from space, program, revenue, and current practices to one that focuses on the people we serve and change our systems to better serve them. Serve the person not the program or sport. Because we cannot move forward and hope to have new participants.

01:19:28Kevin George

I think the huge mental health challenges during and after covid-19, we need to show our value even more as a leader for students opportunity to succeed and thrive.....because when budget cuts are considered, layoffs, impact to resources - they may question our value, we again have to push our overall health & well-being outcomes that allow students to not only advocate for physical, social, emotional, community well-being while @ the university, but more importantly life-long resilience and habits. I am sure NIRSA is looking at the trajectory of less members due to budget cuts..

01:19:50Greg Jordan

If your department reports through Athletics, could you message me? My department was moved to reporting thru Athletic yesterday.

01:20:30christopher denison

Less silos and more integration of rec, health, counseling and wellness

01:20:39Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

Excellent point Bill - this is an opportunity to transform our industry for the better - it will take time, it will take innovation, it will take evolution - but we need to embrace that change and change our lens for success. Old practices wont work indefinitely and we will need to let many things go in order to embrace and grow for the future.

01:21:35Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

@Stefani YES!! We are change makers and innovators and the most passionate group of professionals! WE GOT THIS. TOGETHER!

01:21:46Kim Schmidt

Yes @Chris Denison!

01:21:53Kevin George

@Ken. We are pushing our staff to be on university and student affairs committees so they are serving a greater good. Also I hope they become experts in some things virtual or technology based so they can be essential to other departments. Additionally we have our staff volunteer for critical needs this summer (call center, student ally for those that are in need program, etc.). So more global skills that are valued by higher ed. Also maybe things like QPR trainer certification, Mental Health First Aid trainer, etc.

01:22:15Kevin George

Love it Chris.

01:22:25Jaymie Cox-Garcia

YAY! Amen Stefani!!

01:22:30Adam Pruett

@Ken… we’ve started with using LinkedIn Learning Platform as our first start to get our staff some professional development. We are then using this as our ability to gauge where we can place these staff as we adjust our programming and operations

01:23:46Leah Hall Dorothy

Yes! So true Stefani and Kathleen!

01:23:47Kevin George

We are also on the esports track to be of value for future recruitment initiatives. Also allowing incoming students in the summer to participate in virtual programming to get them engaged during at time they may have the capacity/time to do so.

01:23:48Jaymie Cox-Garcia

@Adam - we use that too. What topics are you emphasizing?

01:23:54Stefani Plummer

@Marc YES, we need to be different...change is good!

01:23:56Janice DeMonsi

As someone already noted I think we will be shifting to wellbeing, mental health, being active to impact your daily life. I know we were headed that way but I think covid has and will cause us to make a huge shift towards this.

01:25:15Jaymie Cox-Garcia

@Haley - we're 2 year as well. What institution are you at?

01:25:23Stefani Plummer

The difference with our industry is that NO ONE is talking about "when we go back to normal" because we have a NEW normal...figuring out what is keeps us going!

01:25:27Kevin George

I appreciate NIRSA being such a major player in health & well-being as we are more than just a gym and more than just physical well-being.

01:25:32Haley Sorenson

Northwest College in Wyoming—where are you?

01:25:43Haley Sorenson

@jaymie lol

01:26:01Marc Iturriaga - Bonobo

How do we make our students feel like they BELONG in our programs, services, and community. If we figure that out, they will work hard to continue participating with us because we offer them safety, support, fun, wellbeing, and COMMUNITY. We are not in competition with any other industry - we are a social and health service.

01:26:15Peter Mumford

Now looking at how to create revenue streams independent of the University to make Recreation more sustainable regardless of fluctuations to University, being less reliant on ancillary fees

01:26:58Linda Gundrum

Good points all around!

01:27:04Janice DeMonsi

Thanks for another great discussion. I am off to listen to our president in a townhall and want to ensure a spot on the call!

01:27:18Adam Pruett

@Jaymie, we have some general courses for professional development, “Digital Body language, customer service emails, etc. - For those not in leadership roles, we focus on leadership skills - Those looking for other skills related to the work we find those courses (ladder cert., operational certs. Etc.)

01:27:26Kenneth Morton

Thanks again !

01:27:27Greg Jordan

thanks. all!

01:27:28Josh Downing - Butler University

Much appreciation to everyone on here!

01:27:32Max, Swarthmore College (he/him)

Thank you!

01:27:34Cindy Strine

Thank you all!

01:27:34Leah Hall Dorothy

thanks everyone! so good to see the NIRSA Family thriving

01:27:38Mark Crager

Thanks everyone

01:27:39Meredith Merchant

Thank you!

01:27:40Kevin George

Yes all the associations that support health & well-being we need to roundtable.

01:27:43Kevin George


01:27:44Dawn Pote - Illinois State

Good to see you all!

01:27:44Adam Pruett

Thank you so much!!!

01:27:49Jodi Hawkins

Thank you!

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