New year, new upgrades. The start of the year marked the arrival of a new membership system for the Stone Recreation Center. This system, RecDesk, will provide a digital platform for scheduling, programs and membership information.
“The reason we switched to this is because… it gives us more functionality with memberships on the backend like getting more information from our members and … also allows us to send bulk emails [and] text messages,” said Dahmir Noel, Assistant Athletic Director for Recreation and Facilities at Alma College.
One of the key features of this new platform is the digital calendar option. “Without even being logged in it shows you which courts are being used, when the rock wall is open, when the pool is open, when intramurals are happening [and] all of those different things,” said Noel.
If you like working out at slower times or are interested in using a specific space within the recreation center, RecDesk may be a positive addition for you. “Now you’re not just showing up, you can check it,” said Noel.
It is important to remember there is often an adjustment period when adopting new systems. Students, faculty, staff and community members are all working to get their memberships set up properly.
“There [have] been some challenges, but right now we’re starting to really see that more and more people are getting on there and know what they are doing with the system,” said Noel.
“The only [issue] I ran into with the new member system was not being informed that there was one. I showed up to work out one day and they told me I had to make a new account,” said Sawyer Hill (‘23).
It can be challenging to adjust to change, however, once you set your membership up there shouldn’t be much of a difference for you. “You’re still checking in the same way… The only difference now… is we put more on the consumer to do a lot of the setup on the front end,” said Noel.
For students, faculty and staff, this membership is still free. “If you enroll in the proper membership, you should get it for four years,” said Noel.
RecDesk also offers ease with renewal. “It tells you when you’re about to expire [and] all you have to do is enroll again,” said Noel.
Fitness classes will continue this semester with some possible new additions. These classes are free to students, faculty and staff and require minimal commitment with no signup required.
This semester, the classes offered are Power Hour/HIIT with Tessa from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Cardio Drumming with Tincy from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Wednesdays and Gentle Yoga with Shana 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays.
“We’re going to try to get some of our older community members who play pickleball a lot in here to potentially offer a class for beginners,” said Noel. This would be a great opportunity for campus and community connections not previously available.
Club sports could be another addition to the recreation services on campus in the future. A club sports survey has been released on social media to gauge interest in this.
“We’re attacking this from a perspective of being as inclusive as we can be. We don’t want to say, ‘Oh, this sport works at Adrien or Albion so let’s just bring it here.’ We want to figure out what people really want and then if it’s feasible to do,” said Noel.
It’s important the addition fits our campus culture and will be appreciated by the students. “The last thing you want, too, is to create a club and [then] no one really cares about it… A club is supposed to be students–for the students, by the students,” said Noel.
Follow @almacollegerec on Instagram to get updates and engage with their discussions. Students can access RecDesk, the fitness class schedule and more information about campus recreation here: https://www. alma.edu/campus-recreation/.
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