Intramurals, Rec Sports department to transition to University Life

The club sports teams, such as the football team, will also be making the switch from Recreation Sports to University Life (Dakota Cunningham).
The club sports teams, such as the football team, will also be making the switch from Recreation Sports to University Life (Dakota Cunningham).

George Mason University’s Intramural and Recreational Sports programs are currently under the school’s Athletics Department; however it will be making the move to the University Life department in the near future. Although the exact date for the transition is uncertain, it will happen by July 1.

The Intramural and Recreational Sports Assistant Director, Paul Bazzano, was unsure of where the idea of the move originally came from, but was confident stating that, “The move has been in the works for a while.”

Bazzano went on to state, “I feel that it is going to be a very positive move.  It is going to allow us to collaborate with a bunch of different university life programs.”

So what would this move mean for Mason’s students, faculty and staff?

The main goal of campus recreation is to give students a reason to get out of their dorm rooms and offer them activities to take part in.  In short, this move will do just that and much more.

As a short-term goal, the Campus Recreation department will combine with University Life, specifically with Housing and Residence as well as Off-Campus Students, in hopes of a better turn-out at certain events, such as the large annual dodgeball tournament.

Campus Recreation’s long-term goal is to focus on higher retention rates, especially spotlighting commuter and out-of-state students.  One way they are looking to improve this, along with increasing bonding between students, is by adding a freshman housing league for intramurals. 

The idea is still rough and in the works, but in general this would encourage students to compete with their floormates against other freshman in intramural tournaments and seasons to determine who is the best of the best.

Associate Dean of University Life, Todd Rose, invites all to take part stating, “All the programs may have a target market, but every residential student, every off-campus student is welcome to participate at whatever level they feel and we are just trying to make that more intentional outreach.”

Building more fields and adding lights to some of the others are a few more ways Mason is looking into increasing student involvement.

“We are looking to have more student involvement, not less,” Rose further states. “We are looking into how we can use and expand our facilities, while still accommodating the health, recreation and tourism classes that meet as well as the teams that use the facilities to practice.”

Rose also mentioned that they are looking into adding additional intramural and recreation fields on campus.

“Originally, where Masonvale is now, there were supposed to be three additional fields, but because of the Chesapeake Bay Water Act you can only construct certain things near a water source down there.”

The ideal construction of fields would be to have them all in the same general area so that they could be used for tournaments without the need for travel between multiple locations, or the need to hire multiple supervisors.

The Campus Recreation department is also looking into different ways students could utilize the outdoors.  Hiking, skiing and white-water rafting trips are all being looked into and the department is trying to find ways to make the excursions affordable for students.

In the University’s masterplan, Campus Recreation is also looking to simply add more green space around residential halls to encourage students to go outside to toss a football, baseball or Frisbee around with friends; another way to encourage exercise and fellowship. 

Club sports will also be moving from the recreation department to under the University Life umbrella.  Funding will become better defined and support will become more encouraged as result.

As Rose states, this move is not only for the students, “Students are our primary market, but faculty and staff also have a great interest in fitness and wellness programs and things like that, so we will certainly incorporate some of the programs for them at times that fit for faculty and staff”

Rose believes the move is in the best interest for all involved.

Campus Recreation is also currently in the process of rebuilding their mission statement, re-branding itself (Mason Recreation or University Recreation), and improving the website in order to make a smooth transition into its new home.

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