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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Rec caters to graduate students, staff

Carl S. Miller III

The Student Recreation Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a newly renovated fitness studio geared toward graduate students and UA faculty and staff members.

In an attempt to attract a wider variety of gym members, the Rec Center has opened Smart Moves Fitness Studio. Along with this space, the Rec is offering new classes, a fitness pass for working professionals and a complementary shuttle service from the Student Union Memorial Center until Jan. 27.

“We really want to have something for everybody here that’s going to inspire them to move more, learn more about exercise, gain confidence on how to exercise and gain confidence to go into any facility and workout,” said Mark Zakrzewski, associate director of programs for the Rec Center.

A Rec Center employee initially sent out a memo to UA employees asking them what else they wanted the Rec to offer. The responses inspired the Rec Center to add the classes and programs aimed at UA employees.

There are 25 classes offered per week, between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., with most classes lasting about 30 minutes each. The short class times allow for UA employees to participate in workout classes before teaching or during their lunch break.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for faculty and staff to come and work out at one of the best facilities in Tucson,” said Lee Ann Hamilton, assistant director of health promotion and preventive services at Campus Health Service. “The staff are caring professionals with years of experience in fitness, health and wellness.”

The Working Professional Fitness Pass does not require a membership at the Rec Center, which sets it apart from previous passes for UA employees. It costs $79 per semester for non-members of the Rec Center, as opposed to the $100 semester-long membership.

“This is on campus, it’s close, it’s inexpensive and it caters to your schedule,” said Molly Mulligan, Campus Recreation fitness coordinator. “That was our main goal; what can we do to make it more convenient?”

The pass allows faculty, staff and graduate students to work out somewhere more private and less crowded than the bigger gym.

“Some of the feedback we’ve heard is that it’s really difficult for some folks who might be a little overweight, or perhaps faculty and staff who don’t want to work out in the big gym,” said Lynn Zwaagstra, director of Campus Recreation. “Some people wanted a more private space to help them get introduced to fitness and exercise.”

However, this does not mean students cannot work out in the studio space. Campus Rec’s goal is to make everything as inclusive as possible, although some things might be geared more toward a certain group, Zwaagstra added.

So far, 32 people have signed up for the Working Professionals Pass. A lot of faculty and staff have sent positive emails thanking the Rec Center for creating programs directed more toward UA employees, Zakrzewski said.

“I think it also benefits students when faculty and staff lead a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “(Faculty and staff) will be happier and support that more with students and encourage them to be more active.“

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