REC the Night event pushes open recreation hours
Téa Carter – Copy Editor
Music reverberated through Moore Field House as students tried their hand at mini-golf, pick-up basketball, and inflatable obstacle courses.
The event, REC the Night, featured most of the activities students can expect during the semester’s open recreation nights hosted by the Office of Recreation and Fitness.
One of the activities most popular with students at the event was a one-time offer: mini-golf. The nine-hole course was the first stop on several students’ tour of REC the Night — after grabbing free food, of course.
I like the variety,” said nursing major Ernie Yelenick, a junior with a plate of pizza in hand. “It’s cool they have mini-golf and the blow-up [obstacle course].”
Yelenick and his friend said they would like to see mini-golf incorporated into more open recreation nights. Even regulars of past open recreation nights saw it as a welcome addition.
“I’ve been to open [recreational] night. I like to shoot hoops. I like to hang out. If they have the mini-golf again, I’d love to do that. It’s a really cool atmosphere to be around,” said sports management Will Steinbrick, a senior.
The goal of Thursday’s event was to convince regulars like Steinbrick and newer faces like Yelenick to attend open recreation nights in the future. REC the Night was the first promotional event for open recreation hours that may feel otherwise familiar to Southern students.
Until this semester, open recreation hours were under the scope of the Department of Athletics. Now that the Office of Recreation and Fitness has taken over, some within that office thought some changes were in order.
Aside from holding a promotional event, the biggest change the Office of Recreation and Fitness has implemented for open recreation nights is a new way to sign in.
“We [held this event] to show people the new app we’re using to sign students in. It’s called Atleto,” said Kaylee Roux, a university assistant for the Office of Recreation and Fitness.
While using an app makes sign-in easier for students, the benefits extend far beyond convenience.
“It’s nice because people can sign into the areas that they’re using specifically,” said Roux. “Say we have 10 people signed into the weight room. Then we know 10 people use this area and we can hold events there [and] we can put more money into the areas that people are using more.”
An informational booth explaining how Atleto will fit into future open recreation nights sat along the walls of Moore Field House. Not all students stopped by the table, but the sentiment toward Atleto’s sign-in system was generally positive among them.
“Atleto makes things definitely more organized,” said sports management major Steve Prussin, a senior. “It’s definitely safer to know who’s here and why they’re here rather than just having people swipe their cards and then have access to everything.”
Alongside the Atleto informational booth were tables promoting other campus activities, like club/intramural sports and Blue Crew, a commission aimed at increasing school spirit. While these booths had students milling about, the tables a few steps further were crowded.
Tables offering free slices from Pizza Heaven, chicken nuggets and fries from Garden Catering and protein shake and tea samples from Rise and Grind Nutrition drew attention from hungry students.
While future open recreation nights may not offer all the amenities enjoyed at REC the Night, students can come by every week Monday through Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. to use the weight room, the basketball courts, the pool and more.