May 12, 2011
Associate Director, Facilities
Recreation and Wellness
University of Central Florida
Today, University Recreation Facilities are attracting a diverse and large number of participants. A significant number of staff who operate our facilities and run our programs are student employees. As they strive to provide the best recreation facilities and programs, an important goal is to deliver great customer service – and doing this means you need to know your participants and what their needs are. A sensitive topic which continues to be a challenge is the issue of student users who appear to be exercising excessively and/or those who exhibit behaviors of unhealthy eating habits (restricting food or binge eating and utilizing exercise to purge). How do our student employees and professional staff handling this? A framework that the University of Central Florida devised provides the staff with some guidelines as we work our way through responding to those with unhealthy eating or exercise behaviors:
– When a building employee has identified the behavior of a user to be characteristic of someone with an eating disorder or overly obsessive exercise habits, the employee should immediately notify the Fitness Coordinator.
– During this time, the employee should also begin to initiate causal conversations with the user in hopes of forming a relationship; the users name should be one of the first pieces of information gathered.
– The same employee should remain in contact with the user – not different or multiple employees.
– The Fitness Coordinator will start a file on the user documenting all interactions with building employees and facility usage.
– All interactions with the user should be reported to the Fitness Coordinator immediately and it will be the job of the Fitness Coordinator to keep the file updated.
– The intent is to have the employee try to form a genuine relationship with the user in hopes the user will open up to the employee.
– If a good relationship is established, the employee and the Fitness Coordinator will speak to the user about possible avenues for getting help, such as the Counseling Center. The Fitness Specialist may assist the user in scheduling an appointment and may even accompany to the appointment if need be.
– Follow up with the user will be conducted by the employee and the Fitness Coordinator.
Using a team approach, the department uses many resources to try and be of help in situations such as these. Relationship building is our primary emphasis in establishing the communication needed for intervention and referral.
May 12, 2011
RISK MANAGEMENT IN INTRAMURAL SPORTS
J.D. Candidate ‘08
DePaul University College of Law
‘No school ID, no play.’ ‘No jewelry.’ ‘Sign the waiver.’
‘Fill out an incident report for any injuries or altercations.’
Every campus recreation professional recites these intramural mantras at student staff training, but is there an understanding as to why these rules are in place?
This article seeks to help intramural professionals provide their student staff with answers as to why recreational programs must maintain rigorous policies. It will also identify risk management concerns in intramural sports in order to eliminate unnecessary risks and mitigate those which are unavoidable.
May 12, 2011
IMPACT ON CAMPUS RECREATION
Emergency Management Coordinator
Washington State University
Since the tragedy at Virginia Tech and the fatal shootings at Northern Illinois University, the issue of an active shooter on campus has driven much discussion, many changes and considerable concern at colleges and universities throughout North America. While statistics will still indicate that shootings on a college campus are exceedingly rare, no college administrator will want to have to explain why their campus was not prepared for such an occurrence.
In the months following Virginia Tech, hundreds of reports and analyses of the tragedy were released. The result has been a number of changes at college campuses everywhere. These changes have ranged from the acquisition of new locks on buildings, classrooms and meeting areas; sirens and public address systems; text messaging or other communication systems to allow direct contact with students, faculty and staff and all manner of new communications tools that will increase the ability to provide warning and notification capability. Other changes include educational programs with training for students, faculty and staff on what to do and how to react if a shooter appears and the creation of threat assessment teams that can react to and address the issues the institution faces with troubled or problem causing students, faculty and staff and systems created that encourage the campus community to report troubled individuals so they can be reached with the help they need before a tragedy occurs. All these changes have the potential to make a difference and time will tell to see if they will have an impact on making college campuses a safer place to be.
April 28, 2011
Director, Campus Recreation
University of Nevada, Reno
This article was developed with great assistance from staff and instructors of American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) and American Canoe Association (ACA). The opinions offered in this article are the result of the feedback from people in the field doing the teaching and program development. Most of these professionals work on both sides of the coin – in the private sector and at public education institutions.
Private sector and university outdoors programs have adopted an obvious and necessary co-evolution relationship, with industry standards generally being established by private sector organizations and then being adopted by university programs. Universities can play a key in role in the development of these standards since the research supporting the standard often comes from the academic community.
April 28, 2011
A Case for Improved Risk Protocols
Campus Recreation programs offering outdoor components face a threat far more real and menacing than a crashing economy. This hazard brings stress, chaos, and in extreme cases, death — and it is almost entirely beyond our control. It is a nefarious agent, too, in that many of us have unwittingly served as vectors for transmission of its typically surprising attacks. Those who have dealt with it before know it well; the memory of its effects conjuring images straight out of The Exorcist or Poltergeist. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about the lowly peanut.
Of course, the peanut here can just as easily be replaced by bee stings, gluten, latex, or any item from the growing list of allergens that effect today’s students. Are the immune systems of today’s students less robust, or have our methods of tracking and understanding allergic response mechanisms improved? The debate remains open, with elements of truth scattered liberally on both ends of the spectrum. Regardless of where the answers lie, the truth for Recreation Program Coordinators remains immutable — all programs which offer students educational, recreational, or social programs that could expose them to uncontrolled (or uncontrollable) environments need a coordinated strategy for responding to environmentally introduced allergens.
The best defense against sudden anaphylaxis is the EpiPen. Epi-Pen is an auto-injector that administers epinephrine–and epinephrine is the definitive emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions. Called anaphylaxis, these severe allergic reactions are marked by swelling of the throat or tongue, hives, and trouble breathing. When it strikes, life is at risk. And time is critical, since anaphylaxis can become fatal within minutes if untreated.
April 28, 2011
New Webinar Training Modules
Staff training is of critical importance to a successful Campus Recreation operation. In addition to training in various safety protocols (see article in this Newsletter on ‘Developing a Safety Training Grid’), other training modules are needed to address other areas e.g. specific job training, sexual harassment etc..
Have you considered using (pre-recorded) Webinars as a training tool? There are several advantages to using Webinars as a training tool:
*Recorded Webinars are accessible at any time, on any desktop or laptop
*Year-long access to Webinars allow continuous and consistent training of newly hired staff.
*Content is delivered by experts saving staff time in preparing and delivering training material.
*Reasonable cost: less than $100 per Webinar (for a full academic year!)
*Cost effective — eliminates travel costs of bringing in experts to deliver content.
McGregor & Associates have developed 8 new training Webinars designed to complement your fall/winter training programs. These webinars are strategically organized into 2 distinct Series:
(A) Negligence & Risk Management (B) Sport Clubs and Travel (see below)
In addition, there is a ‘tracking option’ available (for ‘Negligence Awareness Training’ only) which provides confirmation that student training has been successfully completed.