Recreation Department Keeps Penguins Active

By Jambar Contributor

Caitlyn Wilkes

From club volleyball to a rock climbing wall, the Youngstown State University Department of Campus Recreation offers a wide variety of activities, clubs and services to suit the needs and interests of students and help them improve their health and wellness.

“The department is committed to offering a varying range of fitness and wellness opportunities to the YSU community, which will allow opportunities for an enhanced and healthier lifestyle,” the department’s online mission statement said.

The main recreation facility on campus is the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center, located adjacent to Kilcawley Center. This large facility includes a 12,000-square-foot strength and conditioning area with a variety of fitness equipment, including multiple types of cardio machines, free weights and weight training.

Ashley Ellwood, a sophomore, said she views the rec center as a place to get away from the stress of her hectic schedule and focus on fitness.

“Having the rec center is very convenient,” Ellwood said, “because any YSU student has the ability to get active, be healthy and have fun in the stressful college setting.”

The Andrews Rec Center also includes four large courts for basketball, volleyball and other sports, as well as an aerobics studio and a quiet area for meditation and relaxation.

Another feature of the rec center is the 53-foot rock climbing wall, which is one of the tallest in the state of Ohio. The facility is open and free to all students and faculty with a valid YSU ID.

The Wellness Resource Center provides many tools for students to improve their healthy lifestyles. The YSU website said the center is “designed to promote healthy lifestyle choices through comprehensive programming in areas of fitness, nutrition, mental and spiritual health and personal safety.”

Megan O’Neill, a graduate assistant with the department of campus recreation, said the goal of campus recreation is to provide services to help students become healthy and well, whatever their individual definitions of wellness may be.

“If an individual is interested in the outdoorsy aspect, we have our rock wall, rental gear, and outdoor trips which occur throughout the year. If sports are more someone’s preference, we offer both intramural and club sports to allow students to engage in their favorite sport at a collegiate level,” O’Neill said.

YSU offers a wide variety of intramural and club sports for all students to join, ranging from soccer to volleyball to fishing to paintball.

“Whether you work out at the gym, play basketball, join a cycling session or take advantage of many more opportunities, it all gives you something to help you feel good about yourself and I believe that is very important,” Ellwood said.

The services the YSU department of campus recreation has to offer encourage students to strive for a healthy lifestyle and to take care of themselves while focusing on their studies.

“Engaging in health and wellness related programs helps students’ emotional, mental and physical well-being, which carries over in so many aspects of their lives. These are important skills to learn and take with you for the rest of their lives,” O’Neill said.