Please provide a statement of your personal views on the role and contributions of collegiate recreation in higher education and the impact it has had on your personal development.
As someone who has been shaped by collegiate recreation in higher education, I can confidently say that it is much more than just a place to play on a college campus. As an undergraduate student preparing for a job after college, I learned more lessons and picked up on more skills that would help me with my future job from my on-the-job time working with intramural and club sports than I did from my classes. It was through collegiate recreation that I learned the importance of things like time management, communication, goal setting, task management, conflict resolution, and a host of other work-related qualities. I was given the opportunity to witness a variety of leadership styles as I was led by both full-time staff and other students, and I was eventually able to develop my own leadership style as I led my peers.
It was this experience that prepared me for the role I currently serve in as a Graduate Assistant with Intramural and Club Sports. Collegiate recreation in this light is allowing me to sharpen those skills I already developed, and continue to feel more comfortable in a leadership role. I am learning new perspectives and ways of doing similar things that I did in undergrad, and this is only continuing to develop me as an employee and as a future professional. If it were not for collegiate recreation, I would not be pursuing my master’s degree. This degree is giving me the chance to learn both on the job and in the classroom, which will ultimately set me up for success in the future. Again, this would not be possible without campus recreation and those within the field who have invested and continue to invest in me and my future.
Both as an undergraduate and a graduate student, I have benefited from collegiate recreation when I am not at work as well. I have actively participated in intramural sports as a player, and this has had an extremely positive impact on my wellbeing while in school. Playing with a team in intramural sports is often the highlight of my week, and I know many other students who would say the same. I typically play with the same people from sport to sport, and this has helped me create a sense of community on a large college campus. This community just started by getting together and playing a couple of nights a week, and it eventually transitioned into becoming the people with which I spend all my time. Intramural sports gave us the opportunity to find each other and to connect over what we had in common, and that led to so much more.
I can genuinely say I would not be the person I am today without collegiate recreation, and those individuals within it who have invested in me. It took my classroom learning one step further and turned me into the leader I am today, and it gave me a space to create a community on campus.
In describing your contributions to the Member Network, NIRSA, and the students, identify how your involvement and experiences meet the position criteria and qualify you to serve NIRSA in this role.
As a student who has been involved in campus recreation in many different capacities for five years, I have a strong understanding of many of the different factors that go into making our programs run. Within our department as an undergrad I was someone that other students were comfortable talking to. I was often seen as the middle person between the hourly student staff and the professional staff. Students would approach me with questions or concerns when things arose on the job and the professional staff would often come to me for a student perspective or ask me to help get the staff on board with a new policy or procedure. I was trusted to work in everyone’s best interest, and this was a role that I enjoyed being in.
Even though my time as a graduate assistant at a new university has been brief, I have naturally fallen into a similar role. The student staff feel comfortable confiding in me, and I also feel comfortable voicing my opinions and concerns to my supervisors. This role as a middle-person is one that would easily transition to the role as Region III Student Leader. As a regional student leader, I would be serving as a middle person between the students of Region III and the leadership of Region III as well as other NIRSA Leadership. I am confident in my ability to serve in this capacity.
As a student, I have experienced and contributed to NIRSA in several ways. I have officiated in the NIRSA Championship Series regional tournaments for both flag football and basketball. This has not only helped me continue to develop as an official, but expand my personal NIRSA connections. This experience officiating also prepared me for the role as an official’s clinician, which I have served as both at workshops and at tournaments. Serving as a clinician has given me the chance to have a hand in the development of other officials and help strengthen their skills. I would utilize this experience as a regional student leader because I would have the chance to serve as a resource for students, state leaders, and different student committees. Serving as a resource could involve sharing my opinion or sometimes offering constructive criticism. My experience with NIRSA regional tournaments and workshops would make this often-difficult task a little bit easier.
I have attended state, regional, and national conferences through NIRSA and its partners which has helped to broaden my understanding of NIRSA’s role in collegiate recreation. With this experience and my ability to see the big picture, keeping priorities in line and goals on track as a regional student leader would not be an issue. In a similar light, I am also able to see and understand the fine details. My time on the Indiana Recreational Sports Association’s Scholarship Committee has helped develop skills needed to attend to details.
As a Student Leader of NIRSA, you have the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the field of collegiate recreation. What skills, talents, and perspectives would you bring to the Student Leadership Team?
As a member of the Student Leadership team I would bring unparalleled passion and enthusiasm, a student-focused mentality, an ability to see the big picture, and the patience to sweat the small stuff.
I am interested in this position because I truly enjoy being a part of the NIRSA community and feel this is where I belong. This passion and enthusiasm would not cease were I given the opportunity to serve in this role. Instead, it would only continue to fill me and give me energy to get things done. I am in this field because it is somewhere I want to be, and I am willing to give all I must to continue to keep it moving forward.
I understand that the number one priority of both collegiate recreation on individual campuses and NIRSA is to create a positive, productive, and empowering space for students to develop. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of the job and forget this overall goal. Something I would bring to the Student Leadership team is the ability to keep this goal in the forefront of our minds. This is something I try to remind myself every day when I am at work, and this would be no different when serving as the regional student leader.
As mentioned earlier, I feel comfortable when looking at both the big picture and when dissecting the smaller details of a task or event. This skill would serve me well as a part of the Student Leadership Team as both big-picture planning and tiny-detail arranging will be necessary in this capacity. Often finding the big picture or the overall point becomes difficult to decipher when discussing plans and ideas. It is something that I always keep on the forefront of my mind through each phase of the planning stages, and it is something I could use to keep the group on the right track also. Similarly, it is easy to overlook details when it comes to planning, especially on such a large scale. Because of my patient nature, I find myself able to sweat the small stuff, or think through all the details of a process fully. Again, this is also something that I would feel more than comfortable doing myself, and helping a group do when it comes to serving on this team.