Kent State University’s Department of Recreational Services strives to provide students with the most up-to-date wellness programs. Comprised of six different facilities around Kent’s campus, the department hosts a variety of activities, including instructional fitness classes, intramural sports leagues and late-night student events.
To keep all 6 locations running smoothly, most notable being the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the department employs more than 200 students who manage the everyday operations of each facility.
All the department’s faculties are overseen by Director Gretchen Julian and Associate Director Kimberly Rufra, along with a group of coordinators who specialize in one of the department’s program areas, such as Group X Fitness or Aquatics. All the marketing needs for the department are controlled by Marketing Coordinator Abby Millsaps, including its online presence, digital and print publications and late-night student events.
As marketing coordinator Millsaps has an intimate knowledge of the department’s programs and often works most closely with students. Along with her other duties, she heads a team of students who assist with the department’s marketing and event efforts. As the organizer of the department’s student-only events, Millsaps is always searching for ways to make the next event or program more fun and engaging.
The Department of Recreational Services hosts a wide selection of diverse events and special programs throughout the semester that lend themselves especially well to multimedia projects. For example, this upcoming Friday, Sept. 12 the department is having the late-night event “Outlast the Outbreak: They’re Back!” The action-packed event is sure to have many video opportunities for b-roll, student interviews and standup backgrounds.
Other than events, the department also has some upcoming projects and challenges which could make for interesting broadcast stories.
One project is the creation of satellite wellness facilities around campus in residence halls. The department will soon be working on creating a small workout station on the third floor of Tri-Towers available only to on-campus students. This comes as a response to overcrowding at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, which is open to on- and off-campus students as well as the public.
If the new facility becomes popular, they will install them in more residence halls across campus.
On the other hand an ongoing challenge the department faces is the opposition to its t-shirt policy which requires all students to wear sleeved shirts while operating fitness equipment. Many students have a strong opinion of the policy, so interviews would be easy to secure and of interest to the general student body.
To continue gathering stories on the department, other coordinators like Phelan Fletcher, Ben Cope and Chris Baker will be instrumental in keeping up-to-date on all the new programs and presentations the department is offering this semester.