Campus Rec Issuing Survey in Effort to Boost Employee Membership

Campus Rec Issuing Survey in Effort to Boost Employee Membership

By Amanda BallardUniversity Communications
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All UA employees are eligible for Recreation Center membership – which allows access to the facilities and group fitness passes to attend exercise classes – but only about 1,500 belong. (Photo credit: Norma Jean Gargasz/UANews)
All UA employees are eligible for Recreation Center membership – which allows access to the facilities and group fitness passes to attend exercise classes – but only about 1,500 belong. (Photo credit: Norma Jean Gargasz/UANews)

In an effort to better meet the health and fitness needs of UA employees, and determine the barriers that keep them from using its facilities and services, Campus Recreation will send a survey to 6,500 randomly selected faculty and staff members this month.

The results will be used to shape future Recreation Center programming, said Lynn Zwaagstra, director of Campus Recreation.

"Traditionally, Campus Recreation has been seen as serving primarily students," she said. "We absolutely serve faculty and staff as well. It's really in our mission to promote active, healthy and engaged lifestyles. We really hope to advance that mission through employee engagement."

While the Student Recreation Center's location on campus is convenient for many, Zwaagstra said she often gets requests for additional locations.

"One of the things we hear a lot is the need for an auxiliary fitness center on north campus," Zwaagstra said. "We want some results that we can really put some numbers to. This survey would have the ability to tell us if that's truly a need. Then, we could use the results to help advocate for those types of additional facilities."

Last fall, Campus Recreation issued a survey to 23,000 students and had a 16 percent response rate. Zwaagstra said she is hoping for similar results with the employee survey.  While the student survey was focused mainly on Recreation Center experiences and outcomes, Zwaagstra said the employee survey is focused on four specific issues:

  • Assessing how and when employees use Campus Recreation facilities.
  • Measuring the extent of employees' participation in programs and facilities.
  • Learning what might prevent employees from using the Student Recreation Center.
  • Getting feedback on membership options.

Survey participants will be asked to indicate whether they are faculty or staff and whether they work full time or part time. This data enables results to be sorted into various categories to examine whether staff members who work year-round may have different needs than part-time faculty members. Zwaagstra said an executive summary of the results will be posted on the Campus Recreation website by the end of the fall semester.

All UA employees are eligible for Recreation Center membership – which allows access to the facilities and group fitness passes to attend exercise classes – but only about 1,500 belong. Membership costs $100 per semester or $275 for an annual membership. Benefits-eligible employees can have their membership dues deducted from their paychecks.

Besides the typical benefits of exercise, such as improved mood and ability to concentrate, Zwaagstra also noted the social connection that comes with exercising or taking fitness class at the Recreation Center.

"There are very specific health benefits of being active and doing exercise," she said. "We hope that reaching out to faculty and staff will allow us to offer the right programs and services to encourage that active and healthy lifestyle."

This is the first time a survey like this has gone out to employees. Campus Recreation worked with the Appointed Processionals Advisory Council to get feedback on the types of questions to ask. Zwaagstra said she hopes APAC and the Staff Advisory Council will help promote survey participation and help gain more feedback in the future.

As an incentive to participate, employees who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing to win prizes, including a fitness pass to the center.

Employees who have recommendations to share and do not receive the survey via email are encouraged to contact Allison Brown at allisonbrown@email.arizona.edu to receive a link to participate.

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