n spring 2017, the National College Health Assessment showed that only 50.3 percent of female students at UT met the recommended amount of exercise, and only 12.1 percent of female students felt “very safe” walking around campus in the evening. These two statistics led to the formation of Get Kinetic.
Get Kinetic was piloted last semester and provides Kinsolving residents with a chance to attend a class led by a RecSports instructor once a week without having to step outside. From Zumba to total body conditioning, the free program promotes an active lifestyle among female students who live across campus from Gregory Gym and might not be able to utilize its facilities. The program is a collaborative effort between the University Health Services, Kinsolving Residence Housing Council and RecSports.
“Last semester, a lot of the girls were excited for the classes,” said Nkechi Lawanson, the council’s vice president. “All I’ve heard is positive feedback because it was just a way to get moving and have some fun while doing it.”
As the program continues, it focuses on receiving feedback from attendees to tweak the program and tailor it to the students’ needs, said Sarah Frey, UHS health promotion coordinator.
“One of our evaluation points was that students would like it more than once a week,” Frey said. “Maybe we can run it in the spring and offer it twice a week, but that’s not something I can guarantee at this moment.”
Frey also said the gratitude from participants has been overwhelming and that the convenient location was a focal point for students, including psychology freshman Mariela Reyna.
“The first (zumba) class I went to was really stress-relieving even though it was really hard,” Reyna said. “I like going so much that if they kept having it I (would) want to live here next year.”
Get Kinetic is currently only marketed to Kinsolving residents. Other students in the Whitis Area Community only have the options of using the small in-dorm facilities or walking to Gregory.
“It’s a 20-minute walk there and a 20-minute walk back, so that’s 40 minutes plus an hour of working out,” radio-television-film freshman Lauren Goodman said. “I have to schedule two hours of my day to go.”
Goodman, who lives at Duren Residence Hall, still manages to make the trek three to four times a week, but others, such as Della Orr-Harter, a journalism freshman and resident of Scottish Rite Dormitory, said the long commute deters her from going, despite her desire to go because of the physical and mental benefits of exercise. Soon, she and other students may have that opportunity.
“(UHS) want(s) to reach a broader audience,” Lawanson said. “We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to work out, and there isn’t an excuse to not keep up health.”
Get Kinetic prioritizes acting on the feedback it receives. However, Frey said looking for opportunities to expand to other residence halls and engage more students is always a goal for the department.
“We are always looking to expand programs that are serving the students,” Frey said. ”We want to go where the students are so for sure we’re looking for other opportunities.”