Campus Rec ups its game

University kicks off new, affordable programming opportunities for weekend road trips away from Lexington or mid-week fun right on campus

Kara Lough

Intramurals and group exercise classes have been available on W&L’s campus for several years. But this year, the university is raising the recreational bar.

W&L Campus Recreation has started two new fitness programs to better engage students: Rec-It Wednesday and Rec-It Road Trips.

Rec-It Wednesday will feature events every Wednesday for the rest of the school year that allow students to get active while participating in fun activities on campus.

Campus Recreation Director Ray Ellington wanted to expand the recreation program to reach students across W&L’s campus.

“I want a diverse program that can attract all different students,” Ellington said.

Every week’s Rec-It Wednesday event is different from the next, with the idea that a student should be able to find something that sparks his or her interest. Students played Battleship and various pool games in the Natatorium last Wednesday. A Color Run is scheduled for next week.

Most of the Wednesday events are focused on bringing awareness to Campus Recreation and various organizations on campus. The Color Run will be conducted in partnership with Multicultural Student Affairs, while the upcoming November Fun Run will be co-hosted by Campus Kitchen.

The weekly Wednesday events are low cost for participants, if they cost anything at all. Most of the time, the only “fee” to participate will be contributing to the partnering organization. For example, the fee for the November Fun Run is canned good donations for Campus Kitchen.

Through this programming, Ellington’s goal is to make students even more aware of everything W&L has to offer them.

“There are positive, healthy alternatives on this campus to simply going out on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday,” Ellington said.

Ellington said he hopes the newly implemented recreational programs can be an escape for students who do not want to party or are just tired of going out at night.

Rec-It Road Trips is the second part of Ellington’s new program.  These monthly excursions offer students the chance to get outside of Lexington and travel as a group to unique places and events ranging from water parks to soccer games and even a trampoline park.

On Sept. 16, two vans packed with students traveled to the Massanutten Indoor Water Park to kick off the first Rec-It Road Trip of the year. The October trip will involve going to Washington D.C. on a Saturday to tour the National Mall and watch a major league soccer game. Campus Rec provides transportation for the trips.

While students can show up for most of the Wednesday events without signing up beforehand, there is a required sign-up for the Road Trips because Campus Rec has to hire student chaperones and organize transportation.

“It’s a nice way to get out of Lexington and make some memories, new and old,” Kiki Spiezio, ’17, the Student Coordinator for Campus Recreation, said.

The Rec-It Road Trips are also low-cost. Some of the trips are even completely free, while others like the October trip to Washington D.C. will cost each student only $15. W&L funds the bulk of the cost of the trips, with the goal that expense should not keep a student from participating.

“I want every student able to participate in these programs, no matter his or her socio-economic background,” Ellington said.

Spiezio emphasized that the opportunities with Campus Recreation are meant for all students to take full advantage of during their time here.

“There’s only so much longer that we get to be kids before we have to ‘grow up and get a job,’” Spiezio said.