At the start of week four of Spring Term, Southern Oregon University (SOU) opened their new Student Recreation Center (SRC) in Raider Village. The building includes a gym, basketball court with a volleyball net, and a rock climbing wall. Early registration started April 18th, giving the students the chance to avoid waiting in lines on opening day on April 23rd.
Students have already taken advantage of the utilities provided by the Rec Center. Opening day left the building packed with those looking to climb the rock wall and work out in the gym complex. The center has two sections, one for athletes to train at the Lithia Pavilions and one for students and faculty. The original idea to open the rec center came from the studies of the positive impact of physical activity that has on a students study habits. “We want to promote health and wellness in our students,” explained Eva Daliana, a Physical Education major and Student Lead of the Recreation Center as well as a more professional higher worker among the staff. She and the SOU community were influenced by the studies of “…having an active population can help with academics,” on campus.
Since opening the rec center, the building had been relatively busy. Students have been using the main gym along with the rock wall, which was implemented through the Outdoor Program club at SOU. Currently, the rock wall has been the busiest because of the short time span that it is open to students each day, 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM Monday to Thursday; 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM Friday, and 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on Sunday. The workers at the rec center believe that once they start programming faculty passes in early June, there will be more rush hours in the gyms.
Students are starting to make times in their schedules in order to visit the center’s resources. Ben Wasson, Nursing major and freshman at SOU said he “…got to use some of the machines [in the gym] and got to run on the track. It was all pretty neat” on the first few days after the building opened. He said he is “…probably going to start going there regularity.”
The opening of the rec center also created job opportunities for those looking to work on campus. The new positions include janitorial services, front desk work, and climbing wall assistant. Jessica Martinez, a freshman nursing major, took advantage of these openings was hired to the cleaning crew. Her position guarantees the safety for the students who use the gyms regularity. There is an intensive cleaning process that requires Martinez to “clean the equipment every 30 minutes,” in order to “prevent people from getting infections that are related to working in areas where other people work out.”
Currently, the rec center is not a separate membership from the normal fees of tuition and housing at SOU. The rec center fee is one of the mandatory student fees paid per term.