Campus Recreation

Concussions in Collegiate Recreation: Are we prepared?

September 15, 2014

Ann Wittkopp
Head Athletic Trainer
Central Washington University-Recreation

 This article is the first in an ongoing series about concussions and other relevant sports medicine topics in collegiate recreation.

Concussions have frequented the news in the last several years. The NFL and ESPN have made sure that anyone who watches professional football is well aware of the word” concussion.” But how much do we really know about concussions? What constitutes a concussion? What does the peer-reviewed literature say about concussions? Until recently, concussions were only referred to as ‘mild head injuries’; due to misconception of the severity of the injury, they are now referred to as ‘mild traumatic brain injuries.’

As an athletic trainer working in collegiate recreation, I have seen more than my fair share of concussions with varying degrees of symptoms and duration; what always concerns me, however, is the complete lack of concern (and sometimes disregard) most patients have for the injury itself and what it means for his/her health, and potential future. Read more

Eating Disorders — Understanding and Identifying

February 25, 2014

New Year’s Resolution and Spring Break Extremes
Alison Epperson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Health Ed.
Murray State University

How many times have you been to the gym since January 1st? As a regular patron of our wellness center, I get cracked up every year at the large volume of patrons coming into the facility eager to shed some additional weight gained during the “eating season” (what I refer to the time between Halloween and New Year’s), and attempt yet another New Year’s resolution.

Oftentimes, a different attitude for spending so much time in the fitness facility (I’m referring to the students) is dedicated to Spring Break (aka bikini week). Since most colleges/universities traditionally have spring break somewhere during the month of March, this leaves approximately 6-8 weeks from the start of the New Year for college students to get ‘beach ready.’ Since nearly every minute of college life seems to be documented and imaged via social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) it appears as though both males and females feel extra pressure to appear fit and trim for the ritualistic southern migration to warmer climates.

Sadly, as our American culture has become obsessed with weight, we have in turn, created a monster. We chastise our own population for an obesity crisis, while seemingly ignoring the polar opposite, starvation. In my opinion, “diet” is now one of the worst four-letter words in our language because it is often carried to an extreme, not consistently followed, and repeated over and over again with no sustained positive long term effects.
Read more

Mental Health

January 15, 2014

Where does Campus Recreation fit in?

Alison Epperson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Health Ed.
Murray State University

As more and more young adults come to colleges and universities seeking an education, they bring with them high-risk health behaviors that can impede their academic success. Post-secondary institutions have programs, services, and supports in place specifically designed to ease the transition into college, provide academic assistance services, promote a safe learning and living environment as well as facilities and departments dedicated to raising awareness of and maintaining physical and mental health.

Along with alcohol, mental health has become a major concern for institutions of higher education as many times, the two go hand in hand. What may be considered ‘typical’ college student behavior, could in fact, be masking underlying issues which can include, but are not limited to; lack of sleep and physical activity, drastic mood swings, and social isolation.

Growing concerns of behaviors among college students, most commonly associated with mental health, have resulted in a call for post-secondary institutions to consider implementing Healthy Campus 2020. Healthy Campus 2020 is the National College Health Associations adaptation of Healthy People 2020. Healthy People 2020 is a 10-year initiative sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services which monitors the health status and behaviors of Americans. The National College Health Association also partners with NIRSA, NASPA, ACPA and The BACCHUS Network. Read more

Hazing — Alive, Well, and Disastrous

January 15, 2014

Ryan Hamilton, PhD MSES
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of New Brunswick
Sport Psychology Consultant

Editors Note: This is one of two articles by Dr. Hamilton on Hazing. The next Newsletter discusses Hazing Strategies.

Hazing Defined
Hazing has been most often defined as “any activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate” (Hoover, 1999). Others have added to the hazing definition by stating that hazing includes, but is not limited to, an activity, no matter how traditional or seemingly benign, that sets apart or alienates any member of the group based on class, number of years in the group, or ability” Hazing usually occurs as a part of the initiation process and is prevalent in many spheres of society, including fraternities, the military, corporations, and athletics. Read more

Disaster Plan Update

January 15, 2014

The Ball is in Your Court
Katharine M. Nohr, J.D.

In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, where estimates at this writing are 10,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands of people misplaced, it is time to consider whether your organization is prepared for a significant weather disaster.

1. Disaster Plan Notebook
In response to the question— “what is your organization’s disaster plan?”— did you pull up a folder on your computer marked, “Disaster Plan”? You’re right, it was a trick question. What you should be doing is looking for that Disaster Plan in a notebook form. Yes, trees will have to be sacrificed so that you can print your plan on paper. Otherwise, the disaster that knocks out your electricity could also take your plan with it.
Read more

Hazing Prevention Strategies

January 14, 2014

Ryan Hamilton, PhD MSES
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of New Brunswick
Sport Psychology Consultant

Editors Note: This is the second of two articles by Dr. Hamilton on Hazing. The first article appeared in Volume 8#2.
The term hazing represents a vast number of activities that potentially degrade, embarrass, endanger or abuse incoming group members. These behaviors continue to be highly prevalent as indicated by recent empirical study – in spite of the introduction of anti-hazing policies. Indeed, more than 90% of varsity athletes report being hazed at some point in their athletic career, with 86% reporting being hazed as a part of joining their university team (Allan & Madden, 2008; Hamilton et al., 2013). The causes and supporting factors of hazing are vast and complex and thus, new rules alone are often inadequate in quelling these behaviours. This is not to say that new rules are not important, but simply that they are not sufficient to create meaningful changes in initiation practices. Educational initiatives, replacement activities, moral engagement processes, and leadership moments must all be fostered to prevent the continued and cyclical perpetration of hazing behaviours. Hazing prevention strategies are the focus of this article.
Read more

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