Your campus recreation center is sought after by students as the central hub on campus to support their physical and mental wellbeing. Over the last couple of years, the pandemic has demonstrated the heightened importance of the accessibility to supportive, inclusive campus resources for university students.
What if you and your team could extend your current services and make an even bigger impact to support students as they seek strategies to relax and regenerate from their academic pressures, work responsibilities, and other life stresses?
“Taking what campus recreation provides inherently and seeking ways to create a lasting, supportive relationship beyond the walls of recreation facilities has a profound potential impact of greater, lasting wellbeing — aided by a more genuine sense of support and respect,” said George Brown, the Director of Recreation and Wellness and Assistant Vice Provost at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Check out these six easy strategies to expand your campus recreation center impact with technology:
1. Provide a secure and trusted online community base
Your campus recreation center and the team you have in place provide a top-tier experience that keeps students coming back to utilize the facilities and loyally participating in your programs. Instead of limiting your services to your on-campus location or for set hours, allow students to engage at their leisure from anywhere.
With a community-building platform, transport your trusted services to a digital setting. Only staff members and students with assigned codes or a university email will be able to access your online space to ensure everyone there is a trusted member of your campus community.
2. Promote inclusive channels of communication and peer-to-peer connection to strengthen a sense of belonging on campus
With a digital community, you instantly expand your community accessibility to students who balance a strenuous workload and make it harder to participate in on-campus initiatives. Grant them the option to get involved and interact with their fellow students through channels of shared interests, affinity groups, public channels, group messages, and direct messages (DMs).
Help students find their sub-communities of new friends and support systems to build that sense of belonging within their university community.
3. Develop a collaborative space for your internal team
Your recreation center teams comprise multiple sub-departments and leadership. It may get difficult to network and connect with the broader staff community. With a community-building platform, you can develop private collaborative channels dedicated to teams and student leaders across the center.
Allow your staff to virtually engage no matter where they’re working from or their shift assignments. Strengthening community and camaraderie on an internal level will inspire and reflect in the extensive community you serve.
4. Extend your programming reach with accessible media and resources
There is no doubt that your team provides phenomenal services, but what if your programming could help even more students than you do now? Leveraging the popular forms of videos and photos, upload workshops and sessions online that students can partake in without having to fit them into their busy schedules.
Post downloadable PDF guides that they can print out and refer to whenever they need it most and find the time to take advantage of. Continue to support and champion students’ wellbeing on the go.
5. Decrease administrative efforts for more meaningful initiatives with the help of automation
Replace time spent on inputting components such as calendar dates from various department web sources or linking to a myriad of news sources with automated generated content, including calendars and news sources. Automatically compile from multiple campus web pages and social media accounts into one customizable community-building platform.
Your students get one accessible view into the latest announcements, while staff gets to spend more time on developing and offering significant initiatives.
6. Measure student sentiments to inform and enhance your services with admin analytical reports
With the gamut of dynamic activities you present to your students, take an extra step to get the most out of your programming and measure your efforts. Your community-building platform should include the ability to capture and show exportable data reports about what topics, events, and resources trend best with your students. With this insight, update your programming and transform it based on what most benefits your students.