Many colleges and universities are placing greater emphasis on student wellness, especially when it comes to initiatives that support new students. The age-old problem of adjusting from home to academic life continues to be a dramatic step for many of those arriving at college for the first time. By making the connection between recreation and wellbeing, staff are able to help these students, encouraging and facilitating recreational activities that enable them to find their feet.
When talking about recreational activities we’re not just referring to sports. There are many different pursuits that can help new students to relax and orientate themselves to their new surroundings. In fact, supporting activities in wellness programs that may or may not be classified as sports is an effective way to widen the range and appeal of what’s on offer.
Equipment for supporting wellness initiatives
Of course, it helps if these initiatives involve an organized approach to relevant equipment access. The supported activities become all the more appealing to students when they are properly resourced. You’ll likely have noticed how technology and recreation are coming ever closer together and students are as attracted to the latest gadgets as the rest of us. GoPro Cameras can capture activities such as mountain biking, hiking and touring the campus and facilities. And while outdoor pursuits generally pay greater dividends on health, indoor activities also have their role. Gaming sessions using the latest consoles and accessories for recreational fun and relaxation are also widely welcomed.
With every passing year, each new student intake has had greater exposure to technology than the previous year. So the connection between the success of wellness programs and access to the right technical resources becomes stronger. The availability of digital equipment and other resources can really encourage students to become actively engaged at university beyond their formal studies and so find their feet.
Promoting sports and recreational activities that bring students and teams together is of benefit to all who participate, and universities are taking practical steps to support such programs. As a result, recreational activities are becoming an increasing aspect of established equipment loan operations, with services being extended from digital media centers and equipment checkout stores. Expanding their function to cover recreational resource lending means all students are able to gain access to equipment for both academic and recreational purposes.
Aside from the wellness agenda, digital media centers often wish to promote themselves to a wider audience and show good use of resources. Not least, it helps build the argument for greater resource investment by supporting initiatives that help boost usage of inventory managed. Increasingly, we find ourselves working with university customers in deploying connect2 equipment checkout and reservation software to cover scenarios of both academic and recreational equipment access.
How else institutions support wellness
Of course there’s much else that universities are doing to enable their students to settle in successfully. Freshman workshops running within the curriculum that introduce wellness topics and self-care lifestyle choices are commonplace. They may cover a broad range of issues including mental health, relationships, coping with exams and the transition to academic life. Also, with social media becoming such a familiar aspect of our everyday lives, institutions are recognizing that it often plays a big role in enabling students to adjust to life away from home. Ensuring students have access to social media – through Wi-Fi and hardware – is important in itself. When you miss home sometimes all it takes to feel better is some online interaction with family and friends.
Taking the work out of wellness support
Certainly facilitating recreational activities with equipment predominantly intended to support academic programs is a growing phenomenon, and has yet untold benefit for the students it involves. There are some key steps institutions can take to ensure good take up of the recreational opportunities on offer, while ensuring their equipment is used responsibly and returned promptly.
With the connect2 equipment reservation system, students are made aware of the equipment range available. Better awareness leads to greater usage, as students are able to browse the visual display of items in an online catalog before reserving what they wish to checkout and use. It’s a highly effective way to publicize the resources on offer.
At the same time it’s easy to protect fair access to resources in connect2 and track their usage. With connect2 you can:
- Limit the number of items per user type that can be borrowed at one time
- Implement borrowing constraints (e.g. length of loan) by equipment type, so items in high demand can have wider circulation
- Only allow students with the right training credentials to borrow specialized items
- Automatically notify and remind students when items are due back
With connect2, all users are accountable for what they borrow, so you can promote recreational use of resources while making sure all items are safely returned.
To find out more about how connect2 supports recreational wellness programs and other types of equipment lending, please contact:
Danny Thomas on 646 583 2215, email firstname.lastname@example.org.