By PATRICK HENDRIX
Had you walked into the Athens campus gym six months ago, there is a good chance you might have been alone. That is unless you came on a “busy” day, in which you might have found a few students shooting the basketball around.
That was last semester.
In the six months that have followed many big strides have been taken in an effort to improve Student Life on the Athens campus.
Zack Churchill, who took over as coordinator of student services & campus events in April, is a big reason for that.
Churchill worked directly with students in a concerted effort to get students involved and excited about Athens Campus Life.
Churchill said: “The Office of Student Services and Campus Events is working tirelessly to provide students with every opportunity to enjoy a college experience that is second to none. As we continue to develop with that goal in mind, we want to hear from students; out door is always open.”
Churchill wants students’ feedback on current activities and events being held, but more importantly, he wants to know what sorts of things students would like to see introduced.
Any student is always free to approach Churchill with an idea for a new activity, event or even club.
With that being said, many new activities have already been implemented for the new semester.
Walk into the gym these days and you can expect to see students doing any number of different things including following along with the ultra intense “Insanity” workout video, or some women attempting to emulate the dancers performing various mambo, salsa and belly-dancing moves on the dance video “Zumba.”
Not into workout videos? That’s okay. The fitness center will also be offering weekly pilates, yoga, circuit training and boot camps led by trained instructors to ensure that every student has the opportunity to exercise in a way that interest them.
The workout room is a fairly new attraction to the Fitness Center, and while it is not world class by any stretch, it has many things to offer.
Peter Bowen, a student in the MAT program at Piedmont, utilizes the facility as his primary workout place.
Bowen said, “There’s a lot more to offer than you might think. Like in Demorest they have a full on gym, but if you want to stay fit you can do it all here.”
In the workout room students will find all the necessary equipment to get a full cardio workout in, as well as dumbbells, a bench press, 300 pounds of free weights and a multi-purpose body machine. In addition, plans are in motion for students to begin having access to locker rooms conveniently located in the gym.
Our Athens campus has a nice full-sized basketball court. In order to make use of this court, former head of student activities, Amanda Innes, and I attempted to organize an open gym basketball game. We provided prizes, snacks and refreshments. We invited all of the Piedmont students and staff to come to the open gym. In order to inform students and staff of this basketball game, we made flyers, sent out e-mails, and used the old fashioned word-of-mouth. Feeling confident about our work, we made our final preparations for the event.
After our hard work, it dismayed us to see that only six to eight people showed up. After such a small turn out, we decided to take a different approach.
Student Activities has since offered many fun opportunities for the Athens Campus, such as racquetball, yoga, yogalates, Insanity Workout, and Zumba. Unfortunately, only three to four students ever turn out for these events.
In order to improve student activities next semester, the coordinator needs to survey students on which activities they would like to participate in before scheduling events. The office needs to find the most convenient schedule for students and staff in order to improve the turnout to the activities.
By recruiting more students to take charge and help, our student activities office can develop according to students’ desires and therefore grow in participation.
It will take time to develop a strong and consistent student activities office, but that time will be well worth it if our students have more opportunities to have fun.
We definitely don’t want our tuition money to go to waste. Therefore, students who take charge or voice their opinion to our student activities office it will be greatly appreciated.