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.
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Preparing Your Staff for the Real Deal

January 15, 2014

The Importance of Red Shirt Drills

Gabby Marquez
Aquatics Program Director
Campus Recreation and Intramurals
Georgia Southern University

Henry Ford once said, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success” and this is true for emergency readiness. Preparing your staff for an emergency can be like riding a bike; they may fall several times, but with practice and patience they will master the skills and they will never fall again. In this article, we will dissect the components of an audit system called ‘Red Shirt Drills’. Red Shirt Drills are scenarios that are put in place to test staff performance during an emergency situation. The main goal of this audit system is to create an environment where the staff can feel ready to perform under stressful situations and the element of surprise is diminished. Red Shirt Drills can be applied to any program area within your recreational facility; aquatics, intramural sports, fitness, facilities and beyond.

Phase 1: Assessing Your Staff’s Prior Knowledge
The main point for this phase is to determine what your staff already know or don’t know about the skills you want to implement. Begin by discussing your goals with the staff. Let them know that during this phase you want them act to the best of their abilities. Written and practical pre-tests can be your greatest tool in this phase. For example, a key component to any emergency response is the responder’s knowledge of CPR/AED and First Aid. To assess their knowledge, start with a written exam from your CPR/AED and First Aid provider. Then, have the staff demonstrate the skills they were asked about in the exam. Document your findings; where do they excel? Where are they weak? 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.
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The Road Map to Successful Facility Management: Part 1

January 15, 2014

Part 1: Human Resource Management

Jimmy Francis
Director, Student Recreation Center
CSU, Northridge

Editors note: This article is the first of a 3-part series. Part 1: Human Resource Management, Part 2: Building and Equipment Management, Part 3: Budget Management.

As a facility manager you can at times feel like a lost tourist in a congested metropolitan area trying to navigate an unfamiliar city. Identifying what to focus on and where to allocate your limited resources (both time and money) can be overwhelming. Fear not, this article contains your road map to successfully managing your facility.

Along the path to successfully managing your facility, a manager must keep in mind three important areas: the people or the human resources you have, the building and the equipment inside of it, and your budget. Successfully focusing on these areas will allow you to position yourself to accomplish your main goal, which should be to create a clean, safe and welcoming environment for your participants.

As a facility manager, not only is it important for you to put your “hard skills” to work operating your facility, but it is also necessary to understand that there are certain core values, or “soft skills,” that will help you to be successful as well. Throughout the course of this article, you will not only learn about the different tools you can use to manage your facility, but you will also gain knowledge about some of the core values that are typically found in successful facility managers. Read more

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