Campus Recreation Services Provide Opportunities for Fitness and Community Building


The Student Life Center on campus at the University of Utah is where students can excercise and rent outdoor equipment for various adventures on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

By Kailey Gilbert, News Writer


The George S. Eccles Student Life Center is accessible to all University of Utah students with their U-card, but within the center, Campus Recreation Services provides other activities and opportunities for students to use.

One of these was a Halloween celebration. They hosted a Zombie Zumba event on Oct. 26. The event was free to all who came, and aimed to encourage students to attend the classes hosted at the center. 

Emma Stillings has experience with the Zumba program at the U. As a student, she began going to classes with her friend and fell in love with the classes. 

She said there is stress that she has felt as a mechanical engineering student, but Zumba helps her to calm down, get loose and relieve stress. 

“I think I can focus a lot better during the weeks I go to Zumba and I have a lot more energy,” Stillings said. “I tell everyone to do Zumba.”

Not only does the U offer Zumba to students, but other classes as well. A one-class pass for activities from cycling to yoga is $5. Additionally, other available passes, like their all-access pass, are currently half off for the rest of the semester. 

April Pavelka, the Fitness Program Manager, talked about Zombie Zumba and the programs at the center. 

“The name sounds fun and it stuck,” Pavelka said. “We’ve been doing it for quite a few years now.”

Every semester they also offer a free week for students to try the classes they offer. In the fall, the week occurred from Oct. 11- 17.

“With Zombie Zumba and our Free Week, we try to offer free classes for students,” Pavelka said. “We understand that not everyone has the financial means to buy a pass or even a one-time pass, and we recognize the needs of students to get their fitness and daily wellness in.” 

Pavelka said group fitness classes provide students a chance to build community.

“It’s almost like a stepping stone to physical activity,” she said. “We understand that the gym can be a really intimidating place and someone may not know how to use the equipment or put together a training or cardio program, so group fitness is an easy way to get fitness in.”

She also talked about how beneficial it has been and can be for students to meet new people and friends.

“Especially after COVID-19, a lot of students really needed to be around other people,” Pavelka said. “There’s a lot of personal improvements that you can get with fitness. Studies show that it improves your mood, short term and long term memory … it can even improve mild to moderate symptoms of depression.”

If students are not sure about committing to the full price of a pass, Pavelka suggests dropping in for a $5 class or trying the free opportunities they provide once a month.

For more information, visit the campus recreation center’s  website or Instagram.


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