Students evaluate RecSports' facilities

AddThis

Graduate accounting students Christina Liu (front) and Vicki Yang stretch with pre-pharmacy major Tiffany Liu (sitting) at the Gregory Gymnasium indoor track. UT RecSports surveyed 8,000 students in order to better shape their services to the needs of students.

Photo Credit: Nathan Goldsmith | Daily Texan Staff

UT RecSports sponsors intramural athletics, exercise classes and fitness activities for students throughout the year, and the RecSports staff now seeks feedback from the students who utilize these services.

This month, RecSports distributed a biennial survey to a random stratified sample of 8,000 students via email to determine the satisfaction levels with its programs and find out what can be improved.

Sample questions touched on topics such as the time of day students use the facilities, recreation activities participated in and proposals for future construction plans involving RecSports facilities that will require student funding.

RecSports assistant director Nicole Olmeda said the data is used as a foundation for future decision making in areas such as budgeting, services and determining future programs.

“We strongly feel that we have a partnership with students,” she said. “[The survey] serves as a way for us to hear back from students and we take it very seriously.”

Students are invited to voice their satisfaction as well as complaints in the survey in order to provide RecSports with valuable feedback, Olmeda said.

Of the complaints, many students voice dissatisfaction with lack of space and crowded facilities at Gregory Gym, she said.

“It comes down to facility space, and we know that,” she said. “We’re finding that our spaces are being used for study groups and places for people to meet up and have lunch, and we love that, but we know that quantity of equipment is an issue.”

Olmeda also said students are generally satisfied with the way RecSports contributes to their well-being as college students.

“More and more we’re finding that students feel like it’s an essential part of their daily life, so I think that we provide an outlet for students to rebalance,” she said. “It’s not just weight room space. If you’re a rock climber, there’s space for you. If you’re into group exercise, you can take a yoga class.”

After the survey closes on May 1, Olmeda said she will comb through the data and develop a summary report for an administrative staff meeting where the data will be presented.

“It’s typically the beginning of multiple conversations,” she said. “If there’s a question later on and we don’t know the answer, oftentimes the first place we go is to that data.”

Undeclared freshman Gregory Vincent said he is satisfied with the layout and opportunities provided by RecSports.

“Gregory’s probably the nicest gym I’ve ever been to,” he said. “Working out with other people is fun, so overall, I give it two thumbs up.”

Economics freshman Bing Arend Vanderkam said he prefers the quieter Recreational Center due to the crowding of Gregory Gym.

“The Rec Center is nice because a lot less people go there,” he said. “I’d like to go to the Rec Center more but Gregory’s more convenient, even though you can’t go into the weight room in the morning because it’s closed for weight classes.”

Keeping student responses to the survey in mind, Olmeda said the main goal of RecSports is to promote healthy attitudes and lifestyles among students.

“A healthy body is a healthy mind,” she said. “We hope that we can contribute to students’ wellness and that they in turn lead a more balanced life, because that’s a better student.”