Payton Clark, News Editor
For 10 years, the Recreation and Wellness Center has been connecting students and promoting health on Bison Hill.
Oct. 28, the RAWC celebrated its tenth anniversary with a come and go celebration. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the RAWC welcomed alumni, members, faculty and students to enjoy food and coffee provided by Elevated Grounds, along with tours of the facility. While the RAWC’s actual anniversary is in November, the celebration was moved to coincide with homecoming.
“We strive our best to be a place where students and employees feel comfortable to come as they are,” RAWC director Andrea Woolridge said. “We want everyone to feel like they belong and are part of our family. Our staff does a great job engaging members, whether it is an encouraging word or high five after a workout.”
The services and atmosphere provided by the RAWC have helped get students connected on campus since its start.
“I think it can be challenging for some students to get involved on campus and RAWC is a place where they can go and hang out, get plugged in a group class, intramural team etc. and feel like they are part of something,” Woolridge said. “They get to meet other students they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Student and RAWC employee Amos Hopkins specifically applied to work at the RAWC for this connection to campus life.
“I wanted to be able to connect with people so that I may have more opportunities to spread God’s love and peace with the other students on campus,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said that it serves as a great place to relieve stress and meet people, and is a place that students can experience all that college has to offer.
“It is an excellent place to take a short break and play racquetball, basketball or ping pong and to release the energy that has stored up in studying for long periods of time,” Hopkins said. “It has helped me in getting to know other students on campus and being able to make the RAWC a frequent spot in which we hang out.”
According to Wooldridge, the RAWC strives to keep students successful through physical and mental health.
“This is a place where students learn to use physical activity to cope with stress,” Woolridge said. “Being fit also is about getting the appropriate amount of sleep, and that is key to doing well in school. Our goals for success go beyond the classroom and are aimed at helping young people develop healthy habits for life.”
With its variety of equipment, services and uses, the RAWC has been instrumental in shaping student life on campus.
“The RAWC can be so beneficial in allowing students to exercise as much as they want whenever they want,” Hopkins said. “Whether it be a full body exercise, a run around the track or a simple ping pong game. Every person that walks into the RAWC can find something that fits their liking.”
With its cardio and strength equipment, basketball courts, racquetball and walking track, the RAWC has improved over the years to provide the community with many health opportunities.
“We continue to provide programming for all fitness levels, and each week we offer 26 fitness classes,” Woolridge said. “Lindsay Mitchell, our Wellness Coordinator offers classes to all varsity teams to help with cross training. We offer bootcamps, barre on the oval, yoga by Raley, Zumbathon throughout the semester for special programing. This year we started lunch and learns for students, [and] our intramurals is growing each semester.”
Woolridge said that the RAWC continues to improve their services to meet the needs of clients, and welcome ideas to meet their goals, helping the community for a healthier ten years and beyond.
“We are here to help members to meet their health and wellness goals, whether it is with programing for fitness classes, fitness evaluations or educational classes,” Woolridge said. “We want to grow and be a place where our members want to come back and bring their friends along to get healthy and have fun while they are doing it.”
Hopkins said that students should take advantage of the services and events provided by the RAWC.
“Every student should take the opportunity to go to the RAWC and spend quality time with friends and family,” Hopkins said. “Because of the different events that take place you can always find something you will enjoy and definitely want to come back and do again.”