Guests appreciate the rec center

Tanika Snyder

Members of the Student Wellness and Recreation Center practice “Lethal Legs” Saturday afternoon, one of the free classes taught on Member Appreciation Day.

Credit: Tanika Snyder

Massages, fitness classes, swimming, food, prizes and fun — members and their friends and family do it all for free.

Saturday was spring semester’s Member Appreciation Day at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

The event was created to give members a chance to bring friends and family to the rec center to enjoy a free day of activities and programs.

“We’re trying to do something a little special for the members,” said Paula Murray, assistant director of marketing and memberships. “We want people to come over and have fun. Bring someone who hasn’t been here before.”

The rec center began hosting the semi-annual Member Appreciation Day last spring, making this just the third time for the event. It is consistently growing in popularity. Saturday was proof of that as the largest crowd of members yet showed up to take advantage of the eventful day.

“One of the biggest problems is that students don’t realize that they are members too,” marketing assistant Jacqui Cavanaugh said. “We want students to be able to enjoy the day with their friends and give them a new activity to do, something that they might not normally try.”

Not only could attendees use the cardio equipment, track, weight room and swimming pools that are offered daily at the rec center, free chair massages and five different fitness classes were also available.

The massages were held from 3 to 4 p.m. outside the Wellness Suite, and the fitness classes were held from 1 to 4 p.m. on the basketball courts.

Fitness classes that were offered were Cardio Extreme, Lethal Legs, Kickboxing, Total Body Toning and Power Abs.

“We’re holding the fitness classes on the basketball courts instead of in the studio, so you can see what’s going on,” Murray said. “Anyone can participate and get a good work out.”

The day was also very appealing to kids. A large inflatable dog was placed in the lap pool. Swimmers were able to play on, jump off and swim around it.

Of course, all the activity and exercise made some people hungry, so snacks and beverages were provided on the second floor dining area.

As members and guests entered the rec center, they were given the opportunity to enter two different raffles. One was for a pair of Cleveland Cavaliers tickets and the other was for gift baskets containing many prizes like bath sets, candles, T-shirts, golf tees, spa sets, pens, gift certificates and much more.

“Different departments contribute activities and programs, but we (the rec center) don’t get any money for the event,” Cavanaugh said. “The day is really for the benefit of the member and guest.”

Barb Vasbinder, of Kent, said she thought any college students who’ve never been to the rec center or participated in special events are really missing out.

“It’s in their tuition, and they’re paying for it,” Vasbinder said. “I know it’s sometimes hard to fit it in your schedule, but it’s really a crime not to take the time to come over.”

Murray said she also would like to see more representation from the student body.

“I don’t think students know about (Member Appreciation Day) enough to see it as a really positive thing,” Murray said. “We need more representation from the student body so we can tell where the main areas of interest are.”

Vasbinder buys passes throughout the year, with the exception of summer, when she is a Kent State student.

“It’s the complete opportunity for a total body work out,” Vasbinder said. “It’s an awesome facility, and I think the rec center is very uplifting.”

The rec center will be having its annual anniversary event April 2. The anniversary will be free to everyone in the community and will feature more exciting activities and programs

Contact fitness reporter Tanika Snyder at [email protected].