You’re paying for the CSUF Student Recreation Center, but you’re probably not using it

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The entrance to the CSUF Recreation Center
(Joshua Arief Halim / Daily Titan)

The Student Recreation Center has an average of 3,356 patrons on a daily basis and was available to all 39,343 students who attend classes at CSUF last semester. The center was created a little over 10 years ago by Associated Students as a “student-funded and student-driven project.” The number of check-ins have dropped from last year, according to data provided by the Student Recreation Center.

It is uncertain why the number of student check-ins have decreased. Titans that have paid their student union fee, which is included in their tution, have access to the building, its resources and all of the classes offered in the center.

Ean McGilvery is one of the 127 CSUF student employees at the center. He was hired as a certified personal trainer in his first year on campus. McGilvery said he thinks students do not realize the center is included in their tuition.

“Some students I met last year didn’t even know the center was free to use, which I was kind of in disbelief of,” McGilvery said.

In spring 2018, only 17 percent of undergraduate check-ins were made by freshmen while 44 percent were made by seniors, according to demographics provided by Aaron Tapper, director of Titan Recreation.

Tapper said this may be due to seniors having a better handle on their schedules, but then said he was surprised, as he assumed the numbers would have been reversed.

“You’d think it’d be the other way. You’d think closer to graduation they’re trying to graduate and get out, but obviously, we have more seniors using it. But I do think it’s a little eye-opening for us too,” Tapper said.

Improvement of student engagement is a matter of communicating with all students about what exactly is available to them said Sarah Hamamoto, fitness coordinator and CSUF alumna.

“I think it’s our responsibility to be more present in other student areas on campus,” she said.

While awareness of the resource can be one reason for the demographic imbalance, another number raises questions. In spring 2018, females only made up about 33 percent of the recreation center’s users, even though  females make up about 57 percent of enrolled students according to the Cal State Fullerton factsheet.

The center has been working on ways to balance the demographics.

“We have some women’s only orientation classes. Last spring, we did a women’s series on social media with some graphics on misnomers about lifting to encourage (them),” Tapper said.

The recreation center will be utilizing a new mobile application this fall to become more accessible to all students. The Titan Recreation app has schedules for all classes and links to the website for registration. Hamamoto said it will also be used to check in to the facility, eventually replacing the much despised hand scanners.

An F45 circuit training program will also be launching this semester. The program was approved by the Associated Students Board of Trustees in October 2017 and will launch on Sept. 17. The full body circuit training will serve as an additional free drop-in fitness class.

The F in F45 stands for functional and 45 for the 45-minute class. The high-intensity circuit training classes are meant to strengthen the body and help people lose weight in a functional manner, according to Hamamoto.

“We are the first Cal State to actually offer this program. So we’re very excited to be the flagship for the Cal States,” Hamamoto said.

She said classes like F45 are a trend because they are a quick, guided class that can fit better into students’ busy schedules.

“(It’s) a great way to meet people. Everybody’s the same age, so if you’re trying to meet people, come here. There’s so many people and so many different types of people because fitness is so universal. It’s not like this niche group; it’s for everybody,” Hamamoto said.

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