Challenges Faced and Solutions Implemented in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic among North American College Campus Recreation Staff

Samantha L. Powers, Oliver W.A. Wilson, Melissa Bopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the operation and availability of campus recreation services at North American colleges and universities. This study examined the challenges faced and solutions implemented by campus recreation departments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of campus recreation staff from across North America. Institution and staff characteristics along with challenges and solutions were collected from 174 campus recreation department staff via an online survey in November 2020. Qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analyses. As a result of the pandemic, campus recreation departments have experienced challenges regarding finances, staffing, student engagement, and health and safety. To address these challenges, departments have limited facility access and capacity, reduced spending, adjusted staffing levels and responsibilities, transitioned to virtual or modified in-person programming, leveraged intrauniversity collaborations, and implemented new health and safety protocols. Solutions have the potential to help institutions meet the needs of students during the pandemic and beyond. Virtual programming and reservation systems may be especially useful post-pandemic, and lessons learned regarding multi-faceted COVID-19 policy enforcement could help advance compliance with other policies, such as harassment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalRecreational Sports Journal
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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