College Programming…Sans Pizza

February 24, 2008 at 10:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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One thing changes on Kent State’s campus the weeks before spring break—and it’s not the air temperature.  With spring break on the horizon, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center turns from looking like an abandoned warehouse to looking like a shopping mall in December. SRWC

Kent State has a great facility, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, for students and faculty to do whatever they need to do to keep their minds and bodies in good condition. 

By mid-February, when the New-Year’s resolution-ers give up, the spring break-ers flock in. To help the February-fitness-fiends meet their goals, the rec offers an incentive program, called Destination Spring Break.  

The program involves students logging hours to earn points. The points convert into “miles” and students try to make it to their chosen spring break locations (with a time limitation of 90 minutes). It also offers weekly classes held for bonus miles. Patrons who attend the bonus classes get double points for their minutes. Those who reach their destination will receive a T-shirt, and those finishing in the top four receive a prize bag with vacation necessities.  

It is so refreshing to see a program on a college campus rewarding students for being healthy; not feeding them pizza and wings for participating in another lame program (sorry RAs).

If the rec really wanted to beef up participation in this program, perhaps they beef up the incentive. A free spring break trip would be affective but seems unrealistic. Yes, I know about a little thing called a budget, but the rec could cut some of its less popular programs to make this one more appealing. If the prizes were large and highly publicized, a lot of people would participate. The bonus classes, which count as double points for participants and cost money, could help fund the prize.

I’m not trying to investigate where the rec’s money goes–or to say that the rec is doing a bad job.

This program has a lot of potential to get people hooked on this healthy thing. Rewarding participants for a few weeks of hard work  might SUNhelp them realize the benefits of sticking to a healthy lifestyle after the spring break sunburn fades.

Kent State should consider year-round incentives for those who commit to working out. Like many companies that offer incentives for improving health and wellness, colleges and universities too can create the same healthy culture, by offering year round incentive programs for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Heck, Kent State makes a point to show off its state-of-the-art facilitity to every student touring the campus, imagine what the creation of a successful healthy culture can do for its reputation. With a little research I didn’t find a school labeled “Most Healthy.” Wouldn’t it be nice to no longer be known as “the school where four kids were shot” and be known for “Most Healthy University?”

As for now, as it goes every year, once spring break becomes a memory not a destination, visits to the rec will be something of the past as well.

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