KSU Recreation center provides respite to students

Jenna Homrock

Relieve stress with exercise classes. Get involved in your favorite sport and meet new friends, or climb a rock wall if you have a mind to.

“We offer a variety of activities in addition to the basketball and racquetball courts available at other recreation centers,” said Gretchen Julian, director of Recreational Services.

Some of the activities students can participate in are fitness classes, adventure programs, sports and other special events.

“We’re kind of a place for all that can come and play,” Julian said.

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center gives students an option of two different types of fitness classes: group X and instructional.

Students who enjoy a more upbeat workout like Spinning or Zumba should take a class in group X. If you’re a full-time student, the rec center is free. However, there’s a small fee for certain classes.

For the occasional user there are different packages available, but the better option is to sign up for the entire semester at a cost of only $40 per full-time student.

Courses like Regular Pilates and Yoga are in the instructional section.

“I like the Pilates class,” said Erin Vandrak, senior early childhood education major. “The instructors help you get a great workout and the classes aren’t long, which makes them easier to fit into your busy schedule.”

Other students might be interested in self-defense classes, since this is the first time many are on their own away from home.

Instructional classes cost $22 a semester. Students who think they might be interested, but aren’t sure about signing up, should attend the Demo Week.

“At the start of each semester we have ‘Demo Days.’ They’re usually a week long,” Julian said. “You can try a class before you enroll to see if you like it.”

For specific prices or class dates, visit http://www.kent.edu/recservices/fitness/index.cfm

“Students with dietary issues can speak to our nutritionist,” Julian said. “If they want a personal exercise trainer, we can supply that as well.”

The rec center also has a massage parlor and saunas for those who just want to relax rather than workout.

For specific prices, read the Recreational Services 2010 Program Guide.

One of the newest attractions at the rec center is kayaking.

“You can take a trip down river with your friends,” Julian said with excitement. “If you’ve never tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

For more information, visit: http://www.kent.edu/crookedriver/index.cfm.

Does a 35-feet-high rock wall spike your interest?

“The wall doesn’t open till 4 p.m., but you can climb it whenever during operations,” Julian said. “It’s perfectly safe. You’re in a harness and couldn’t fall if you wanted to.”

Check out the adventure center for specific rock climbing programs offered to students at: http://www.kent.edu/recservices/adventurecenter/ac_climbingwall.cfm.

Students might not have the proper equipment for certain activities, but the necessary items can be rented at the rec center. For more information, read the Recreational Services 2010 Program Guide or check with the front desk.

If someone played sports in high school, they may be interested in the sports programs the rec center has to offer.

“If you have a competitive edge, you can join one of our sports club,” Assistant Director Greg Bailey said. “We offer 22 different sports programs.”

The programs are divided into three categories: intramural sports, community leagues and sports clubs.

“Intramural sports is kind of like league play,” Bailey said. “You’d play a specific schedule for three to four weeks.”

This gives students the opportunity to make the playoffs just like in the MLB, NFL, NHL or NBA.

“So the scheduled games give you something to play for,” he added.

“Every year, me and my friends put together a hockey team,” senior Mathew Chernisky said. “It’s a great way for us to do something together.”

The rec center also has Community Leagues. This allows students to participate in activities with local residents.

To form your own team or join another, contact Community Leagues Coordinator John Krehnovi at [email protected] or 330-672-0406.

If students would like to participate in more competitive programs, the rec center offers sports clubs.

“You can travel and compete against other teams,” Bailey said.

“But students have to raise money to fund their own sports club,” he added.

For more information, go to: http://www.kent.edu/recservices/sports/index.cfm.

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center isn’t only a place where you have to be physically active. Students are welcomed to just come and watch a movie or chat with friends.

“We have special events geared toward keeping students on campus for the weekend,” Julian said.

The rec center has special events scheduled throughout the semesters like bingo and Las Vegas night featuring Vegas-style gambling. They give away great prizes like a car or even a free month’s rent.

For more information on the rec center’s special events, check with the front desk or visit http://www.kent.edu/recservices/adventurecenter/ac_climbingwall.cfm.

At the rec center, students not only have a chance to meet other kids their age, but they can interact with faculty members who go there as well.

“We have a lot of different things available so that the incoming freshman can come over and relieve stress.” Julian said.

Contact news correspondent Jenna Homrock at [email protected].