Infographic by Natalie Rulon
On-campus residents can take group fitness classes for free in exchange for promoting the classes to other residents in their dorm under the new Recreational Community Leader position, officially launching next semester.
The initiative is a part of a collaboration between HRL and Campus Recreation. Recreational Community Leaders will be responsible for inviting their dorm community to workout classes, spreading awareness on Campus Recreation’s programs and attending student leadership meetings.
Five students — Dan Chier, McKenzie Henry, Brooke Romine, Janine Bury and Danielle John — took on the position in their dorms early, starting Feb. 19.
“If people are hesitant to go to [fitness classes], they’re more likely to go with a friend or somebody they know rather than a staff member telling them to come take this class,” Coordinator for Fitness and Wellbeing Amanda Knight said.
Recreational Community Leaders will be able to invite others to try out a fitness class at no cost for either party. Students otherwise pay $75 per semester or $30 per month for unlimited access to the classes, according to Pepperdine’s website.
Currently, the five students holding the position represent DeBell, White and J. Penn dorms. Multiple students per dorm can be a Recreational Community Leader.
Each leader can bring up to three residents per fitness class. In first semester of the position, there is no limit on how many times a Recreational Community Leader can bring an individual into a class.
“Right now, we are trying to keep it less formalized to see if students will actually take part in this program,” Director of Campus Recreation Robb Bolton said.
Knight said the goal of the new position is to promote overall fitness and well-being in the student population.
“We’re trying to have more student involvement in our fitness classes to encourage healthy minds and healthy bodies just to overcome any stresses that come with student life,” Knight said.
Aside from group fitness classes, student leaders will be responsible for informing their peers about outdoor recreation events, excursions and equipment rental opportunities. Pepperdine students can rent camping, surfing, game and sport gear at no cost through Outdoor Recreation.
Brooke Romine, freshman and Recreational Community Leader for DeBell House, said maintaining an active lifestyle is something she enjoys doing with friends and hopes to continue doing in her new position.
“I really look forward to hearing about what the kids on campus want from Campus Rec and then trying to transform that into what [Campus Recreation] offers,” Romine said. “I would just be so happy if someone else found some sort of joy in group activities and being active.”
Romine said she has already attended the pilates and spin classes and thinks they are tailored to the needs of college students.
“[The pilates basics] class is all foundational,” Romine said. “So the better you get at it, the harder it is. It’s called a beginner class because you’re learning the fundamentals, but it is one of the hardest classes I take.”
Next semester, the initiative will expand to activities in the dorms.
“We might have more opportunities [for the Recreational Community Leader] to host a yoga or a training class,” Knight said. “It is a little bit more challenging to get that up in the facility — with the space and time and instructor — but we want to encourage and inform people of what we offer.”
Bolton said they have plans to make the position effective in every dorm on campus.
“Hopefully it’s successful and it will grow,” Bolton said. “The plan that we talked about initially was to match what the SLAs are right now. We want to be able to promote wellness and recreation throughout all the houses to make sure everyone is getting the same messaging.”
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