Britton Lyon started his journey in collegiate recreation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), earning a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. Britton was heavily involved in UNL’s campus recreation programs, serving as a football, basketball, and soccer official as well as being promoted to an intramural supervisor. Britton served as the treasurer and president for the Nebraska Sport’s Officials Association, and was elected as the Nebraska State Student Leader his senior year. Through his experiences at Nebraska, Britton became involved in many NIRSA events, including three trips to the National Flag Football Championships, where he was named an All-American Official two times. He also attended the national conferences in Denver and Boston during his undergraduate career. Britton currently serves as a competitive sports graduate assistant at Oklahoma State University, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in leisure studies with a focus on recreational management. He also continues to officiate football at the high school and collegiate level.
Please provide a statement of your personal views on the role and contributions of collegiate recreation in higher education. In your response describe how collegiate recreation has influenced your development.
Collegiate recreation has presented me with opportunities for professional development I did not think was possible when I entered college as an undergraduate student. Entering college following high school, I found a new home centered around campus recreation. This home was supported by a group of students and professional staff I now consider to be family. It was through this relationship that I discovered and learned the benefits of campus recreation. Campus rec facilities and programs provide students with an avenue to pursue both a healthy lifestyle and sound mental health. It is these programs and facilities that students experience that help students balance their school life with their social life. The programs and facilities provide ways and means for social growth through interactions between different groups of students. Higher education today is defined by what students experience while in college. It is the responsibility of campus rec staff in higher education to provide students with a safe and welcoming environment. My views of collegiate recreation are student centered, relating to both the continued health of the student body, as well as the development of future recreation professionals.
Within the context of the NIRSA Strategic Plan, what area/item would you say is a major issue students face today? Please identify a student driven issue that we currently face today and you would like to address during your term. How will you create solutions in your role on the Student Leadership Team to address it?
One of the major challenges that students and universities face in today’s world is the developing challenges of ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion on campuses. The world’s current polarization on a number of different topics presents university campuses with a challenge as different views converge on campuses. These issues are being taken up by students, and these students wish to present and voice their views to the world. Collegiate recreation is in a prime position where a multitude of students with different views come together to participate in programming or pursue healthy lifestyles. This exposure that campus rec professionals see presents professional staff and students with the opportunity to promote inclusive tendencies and recognize that people’s opinions and beliefs do matter. As a member of the Student Leadership Team, I would encourage the continued recognition of the diversity on college campuses and promote inclusion across campus rec facilities through providing safe and welcoming environments for all students.
In describing your contributions to NIRSA (i.e. presentations, volunteering, previous leadership roles, etc,), identify how your involvement and experiences meet the position criteria and qualify you to advocate for and serve the students of the Association.
The vast majority of my experiences with NIRSA have been through the Championship Series. Having the opportunity to officiate at the national level in flag football has opened doors in my officiating career. I have come to recognize the benefits the Championship Series presents to students and professionals alike, whether or not these students or professionals intend to remain in the field of collegiate recreation. This connection with the Championship Series puts me in a position where I can help promote and encourage the development of student officials across the country and continue the professional development practices that professional staff experience at these Championship Series events. My time serving as the Nebraska State Student Leader in Region V has also provided me with insight into the workings of NIRSA. I have recognized that NIRSA provides opportunities for professional development across a multitude of disciplines. Observing sessions at two national conferences has prepared me to be involved with NIRSA to serve the student population of NIRSA members.
As a Student Leader within NIRSA, you have the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the field of collegiate recreation. With a focus on Student Member Recruitment & Retention, and Student Development what skills, talents, and perspectives would you bring to the Student Leadership Team?
As a current football and basketball official, I have the opportunity to present a new and unique look for the student leadership team, bringing in different views on issues and presenting different ways to problem solve issues. The officiating world is currently faced with retention issues of officials. I want to take ideas currently being pursued in the officiating world and apply them to the retention of students in the NIRSA family. Student development is also a major part of my experiences in campus recreation. Being a part of a program at Nebraska that focuses on the development and recognition of transferrable skills that can be applied to future careers has opened my eyes to the importance of student development. Students in campus recreation jobs must recognize the benefits they receive from working for their respective programs. It is this focus on student development that I would bring to the student leadership team. In addition to these reasons, I also wish to bring a positive and group-centered perspective to the leadership team. As a team, we must jointly represent the students of NIRSA and continue to grow, shape, and mold the future campus recreation professionals.