By Andrew Smith
Located across from the Ruth S. Harvey University Center, the Campus Center for Recreation and Sport (CRS) provides the entire student body and faculty a variety of physical activities and recreational sports. Programs and exercise equipment include free weights, stationary bikes, and treadmills, but also more unique aspects such as multi-purpose courses and different training studios the student body often fails to see.
Associate Director of Campus Recreation Shaun Rutherford explained one of the building's more unique and often overlooked components. “When the Functional Training studio was built in 2017, there was a surge in popularity for the CrossFit style of training opposed to the traditional free weights and machines that typical gyms offer.”
“The hope was that with this increase in popularity, we may have more people interested in this style of training and that providing a space where students could do this would increase engagement in our department.” Rutherford continued.
However, due to its location on the third floor, it has often gone unnoticed by students. Blake Pomerantz, a junior sport management major said, “I did not know if it was ever open or accessible for students. Every time I walked past it, it was always empty.”
To combat this, Rutherford and the CRS staff have looked for ways to create student-run programs to increase awareness of this offering. “We have a group fitness class that takes place in that room, and we allow practicum students from the Exercise Science Department to use that space for their training,” Rutherford noted.
In addition, right across the hall is another often unnoticed area of the building: the squash/racquetball courts.
Michael Korotz, a math major in the STEP Program, has used the squash courts during free time with his sister Megan. “I heard about it from my sister, and from time to time, we play between classes,” Korotz explained.
“It is a great way to de-stress during a long day.”
Courtney Gendels, a fitness graduate assistant, expressed that there have been discussions internally, and it has become almost a department goal to have more students participate in these activities.
The department has focused on making the environment seem more inviting and providing workout tutorials. Through a QR code on a studio poster, users are directed to several tutorial videos explaining the different workouts you could do in this room. When arriving, a beginner can easily become overwhelmed due to the different and unique machines. These easy-to-access tutorials are a great way to help newcomers complete a workout and feel motivated to return.
While these rooms on the third level may not be directly accessible from the popular locations on the main level and second floor in the CRS, they are still valuable experiences that all students should try out.