By Hailey Rogenski
Every summer, Youngstown State University’s staff, students, employees and leaders for Campus Recreation collaborate to host events for the campus community. While virtual events will continue, there will be more in-person events happening this summer.
YSU typically holds events such as stress relief sessions, group exercise classes and outdoor gaming. This summer, in-person indoor activities will take place in the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Events begin May 12 and last through the beginning of August.
Ryan McNicholas, interim director of Campus Recreation, said these events will have limited space due to social distancing standards. The current limit is no more than 10 people per event.
“Most of our group exercise classes are pre-registered events to make sure that we are staying safe and secure,” McNicholas said. “We do have some drop-in classes, but we will try to limit any of those based on attendance and limitations.”
Domonique Sak is the coordinator of club sports and summer camps. She said the Campus Recreation team is also working to ensure other safety guidelines will be followed during these events.
“Facial coverings are required,” Sak said. “We have cleaning supplies available at each of our events.”
Sak also said bingo is a popular event they host. A recent virtual bingo game had more than 100 participants.
Although the summer events aren’t completely finalized, there are some upcoming events students can enjoy. These include the Amazing Adventure Rec Race on April 23 and Beginner Gainz Orientation, a circuit training session, on April 29.
“We are going to try beach volleyball, spike ball, cornhole, soccer — both indoor and outdoor — and flag football,” Sak said.
Since the pandemic has caused additional stress for some students, McNicholas and the Campus Recreation team are creating experiences to ease stress. Relaxation Week runs from April 26 to April 30 and will offer events like outdoor yoga and painting.
“Some of the feedback we received is that students feel better after they’ve engaged with other students. They work out, they do different things, they even just come in here and hang out and have some stress relief,” McNicholas said.
Ann Jaronski, director of YSU Student Counseling Services, said some students may struggle to attend these events due to anxiety and fear of going out.
“People are going to have different levels of anxiety, and it’s going to depend on their baseline anxiety to begin with,” Jaronski said. “Students that I’ve talked to that are already anxious, especially in social situations or interacting with people — some of them are very anxious about getting back and reconnecting with people.”
Jaronski also said being at home so often and for so long may make it difficult for some students with anxiety to go out and socialize again.
“Having to stay home has made them feel more comfortable and safe, which means that they are out of practice because a piece of dealing with social anxiety is overcoming our fear and learning to interact with other people,” Jaronski said.