Everywhere around campus are colorful banners and painted window artwork that attempt to gain the attention of the campus community.
These efforts are for the Recreation Program at Virginia Wesleyan, known to students as RecX.
RecX offers a variety of activities ranging from relaxing pool movie nights to intramural sports; from camping in the surrounding forests to game tournaments.
“We had. . .a movie in the pool that we set up all day for. It was really good, we showed ‘Finding Nemo.’ I really liked it because it was something different,” said sophomore Erin Combs, a worker at the RecX office.
“It wasn’t like you sit in the Grille and watch a movie; it was relaxing. People swim around, all that stuff,” Kelly Keys, the supervisor of Recreational Sports and Activities, commented on the many activities that RecX puts on here at campus.
“Some of the biggest activities we do are intramural sports seasons, so things like flag football and volleyball are very big on campus with the student crowd. But specifically, event-wise, most recently we did Family Feud night which was a huge success. Everyone seemed to love it and they’re already asking for a round two so hopefully that will be coming up this April” said Keys.
Included in RecX’s popular venues are the fitness room, the pool, and places far from the campus’ physical view. However, there are some activities that are simply not getting enough attention.
Jason Seward, dean of freshman and director of the Jane P. Batten Student Center, explained: “I’ve tried for a number of years to get a kickball league going because I just thought that I would get no issues getting participation, but we don’t see a lot of participation in that league.”
He also said, “We would like to see a lot more use of the rock wall. The rock wall is sort of on a pendulum. When school first starts up a lot of people try it since they’ve never tried it before. They climb and after they’ve tried it once then it falls, but then it goes back up before graduation, so it’s up and down.”
On the lack of student participation, Kelly Keys also said, “Least popular, I would say, would be some of our power hours but that’s because we pick some things that people don’t know. We try to get people to play foosball because some people don’t realize we have a foosball team, or we try to get them to play Monopoly because we have all the board games in the back. We’re just like ‘Hey, just so you know, we have these things and you can use them.’”
When asked about how RecX advertises, Kelly Keys stated, “How do we not? We are trying to stay away from emails now because a lot of students just seem to immediately trash them. But we do all the posters you see, we have window paintings that we do on the first floor windows, and fliers.
The new T.V. that’s right outside the RecX office does running advertisements as well as a few of the whiteboard things that we do. And we try to do dorm raids where we go to all the dorms. We’re like ‘Hey, next week we’ve got such and such going on,’ and we try to tell students face to face ‘cause that’s when they’ll listen.”
She went on, saying that RecX can never have enough advertising. The more RecX advertises, the more obscure activities like foosball get popular. “I’m trying to push for the social media world. Trying to get more followers and more friends likes and all that, because students stay on their phones non-stop so it’s just probably the best way we can reach them. I don’t think there is ever enough advertising.”
“No, I don’t. I think a quality of standard keeps people coming back,” said Seward. “There has to be some sort of buzz built around an activity. You can’t just do what we call ‘spray and pray’ where you throw a banner up and hope somebody shows up. You gotta constantly circulate the word and be creative about the way that you advertise.”
Despite the small participation in some activities, RecX is seeing a gain in momentum for unexpected ones.
“I’m actually fine with everything we are doing now,” said Combs. “Kelly Keys is working on new stuff. We were going to have a Wii game night but that got changed. We had Family Feud this year and that was a huge success. We’ve never done that before. I feel like RecX is building up and RecX can always find new things to do especially with the staff that we have.”
“It’s just fun,” Kelly Keys says. “All of the things that we do is just to make sure that students are having a good time—it kind of brings out the kid in them. It’s nice to have a relaxing break after classes and play some football.”