We're back for Season 3!
Ever wonder when the best time to work out is or what student employment opportunities exist at UREC? Join your new host, Lauren Shutt as she chats with Erin Davis, a current Operations Supervisor at UREC, about the 5 Things You Need to Know about UREC.
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Season 3, Episode 1: 5 Things You Need to Know About UREC
Host: Lauren Shutt, Graduate Assistant for Health and Wellness Promotion at UREC
Guest: Erin Davis, Operations Supervisor at UREC
0:00 - 0:22
Intro: Hey there, welcome to Well Dukes. This podcast is brought to you by UREC Health Promotion. Tune in every other Wednesday for conversations that we hope challenge what you know, think, or do in regard to your own health and wellness and helps you be Well Dukes.
Lauren: Hello, Dukes and welcome back to the Well Dukes Podcast. My name is Lauren Shutt and I am a Graduate Assistant here at UREC for Health and Wellness Promotion. We are really excited to be back this season. This season we will be doing the five things you need to know about a wide range of wellness topics. And today we're going to be talking to Erin Davis, who is an Operations Supervisor here at UREC. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself, Erin?
Erin: Hi, everyone. Like you said, I'm Erin. I am in grad school at JMU now. I'm a Double Duke, I graduated last year. I've been working at UREC for four years, and I'm an Operations Supervisor.
Lauren: So today on the podcast, we're going to be talking about the five things you need to know about UREC here at JMU. And so we're gonna kind of get started with our first thing you need to know, which is how to navigate UREC for the first time.
Erin: Okay, so I know that UREC is massive and it can be very intimidating. So the first tip that I would say is, your first time, don't come alone, bring a friend, bring a roommate, a hall mate, your RA, anyone and just walk around. Obviously, if you missed UREC Fest that we just had, that's okay, there's lots of other times that you can come and check out UREC. Another thing is that if you do want to come by yourself, you can ask anyone in the Welcome Center for a tour, they'll walk you around, they'll show you anything you want to know. And really you can ask anyone in a purple shirt around the building and they can point you in the right direction. Another thing you can do is on our website, you can take a 360 tour of UREC and UPARK and all of our satellite facilities. So if you're feeling a little bit anxious, and you don't want to walk into the building and feel overwhelmed, you can do it from the comfort of your home or your dorm room and just log on to your computer, do a 360 tour and see exactly where you want to go. So when you walk in, you won't feel you won't feel overwhelmed.
Lauren: Thank you. And when it comes to navigating UREC there is obviously a lot of different areas that UREC has as well so in our second thing you need to know about UREC is that it's much more than just a gym and that we have a wide range of things that you can participate in. And it's just great because it feels like nobody is left without something to do at UREC. So could you tell us a little more about the programs that we offer and all the different areas at UREC?
Erin: Yes, so we have so many areas it's insane. I can't even believe how many opportunities and things there are to do at UREC, but I'm just gonna start. I'll just like name some of the areas and a few of the cool things that either I didn't know when I first came to JMU. So first off, we have the Adventure Center, and we have TEAM and so some of the cool things that the Adventure Center and TEAM offers are Two Wheels Two Scoops, which is an event where you can bike to Kline’s for ice cream, they also offer full moon hikes. In the actual Adventure Center if you're new into climbing, you can take classes on how to learn to boulder and climb. They also have another program called Walk a Paca, where you can go to an alpaca farm and walk an alpaca just with like, other JMU students. Like how cool is that? Lots of other things like canoeing the Shenandoah River, you can also rent canoes and kayaks and tents and all those camping necessities if you're if you're naturey and want to go outside and want to be a little bit away from JMU, definitely check out the Adventure Center. So then we have Health and Wellness Promotion. So other than this lovely podcast, we have nutrition and cooking classes. Some of them are easy plant based cooking, global cuisine, Pinterest inspired meals, anything if you're hungry and don't really know how to cook and want to come definitely check out some of those. We also have massage classes and lymphatic drainage class or not classes but like a time where you can come and get all of your lymphatic like stuff drained but that's awesome. Like where else can you go to get that done? And then also we have a variety of resources that discuss substance misuse prevention, like substance misuse coaching, sexual and relationship health. They offer Safer Sex Stations, programs and workshops like Sex Jeopardy and Party Smart as well as other types of sexual health coaching and also bystander intervention, which is what we call Green Dot at UREC. Green Dot is an evidence based strategy to prevent personal violence, sexual violence, dating violence and stalking in our community in the JMU community but also in just the Harrisonburg community. Green Dot is like a community mobilization that involves the faculty, staff, students, everyone and we all partnered together and aims to change our culture by training members of the JMU community to be proactive and do their part to prevent harm. So UREC offers Green Dot intervention, overview sessions each semester, that you can sign up for online. Or if you're like in a club or organization and you think that you want your club or organization to be familiar with this, you can sign your club up for it. And just another amazing thing about all of the things within Health Promotion is that everything is confidential and available to all students. So never feel pressured to come and think that you're spilling anything to people that aren't going to trust your information. It's all confidential. And then okay, moving on to another area we have Aquatics. So we have two massive pools. We have a rec pool and a lap pool. We have a sauna, hot tubs. There's also swim fitness classes, you can get group and private swim lessons. So say you're a if this is more, this could be for like faculty at JMU. But you can have private swim lessons. Or if you just want to learn how to swim and you don't know how to swim, you can get swim lessons. There's like Learn to Log Roll a lot of cool stuff within group exercise. So say you like working out, but you don't, you're a little bit too, not afraid. But you just - you don't really want to go into the Fitness Center yet and be around a bunch of like weightlifters and all that stuff. We offer a variety of Group Exercise classes like Aqua Fit, HIIT, we have Indoor HIIT, Outdoor fit, Pilates. I went to Pilates today. It was amazing. Shout out Ariel. She was a great Pilates instructor. Kick, kick my butt. We have also like some unique ones that are only offered every once in a while. Like Sunset Yoga, Cycle, Meditation, all of those and you can just log on to the URECRegister. There's a posted full semester schedule. So you can just print that out and make sure to register early. You have to do it a few days early. Yeah, definitely do it early. I got lucky. And when I signed up for Pilates yesterday, there was one spot and so I snagged it. And then if you are a big sports lover, you like exercising but you want to play sports. We offer so many Intramural Sports in the fall, spring, and I believe there's even some over the summer. If you're here are some over the summer. So just to name a few. We have kickball, spikeball tournaments, soccer, sand volleyball, wheelchair basketball, all that fun stuff. You can see the list all online, on IMLeagues, but you can get there through URECRegister. And yeah, so if you want to, oh, another cool thing about that is you can join with friends or say you don't really know anyone that would play flag football, or you live on a hall and everyone tells you no, you can just join as a free agent and they put you on a team and I did that twice my freshman year. And it was amazing because I loved volleyball, but I came here and I didn't want to play club and I didn't really know what to do. So I was a free agent on two and I met like, two of my best friends from it so that was really awesome. We also have sport clubs. So if you want something a little bit more competitive, you can try out for sports clubs. Some are try out. Some are walk on, but we have over 50 to choose from. Some of the cool ones are like not cool ones, but ones that you might not think we know is we have dodgeball, equestrian, ice, hockey, Quidditch, and triathlon. So you can find out all about that if you didn't go to student org tonight, you can look it all up online, potentially try out for sport clubs or walk on the sport clubs. Those are awesome. Within Fitness though, obviously, other than just our great fitness facility, we have personal trainers, fitness assessments, weight clubs, all that fun stuff. They have Small Group Training classes. So that's new, we have a Group Training Room, right when you walk into UREC on the left, so you can sign up for like circuit workouts or, or if you're in an organization, you can…I almost said rent, you can like book, I guess it's like renting time you can you can book, you can book that time for your club to come workout in. We also have amazing athletic trainers in the building. So if you happen to get hurt during any of these activities that I was just listing, you can go for free to the athletic trainer, you can sign up online, and they help you evaluate and identify any type of injury that you have. They're really awesome. And there's a and there's multiple of them. So it's usually if you plan it, if you plan it right and don't just walk in, you can always get an appointment. And then so yeah, those are just some of like, the little activities that you can do in the programs that maybe you didn't know or in the areas that maybe you didn't know about. But another thing that I don't want to forget is that UREC has a few annual events that we offer. So like I said, if you missed UREC Fest, don't worry because Pack the Park is September 4, and it's gonna be awesome. It's a Color Walk / Run. And once the race is over, there's line dancing, food, music, lawn games, sand volleyball, so you definitely don't want to miss that. Check out Pack the Park especially if you've never been to the Park. You'll hear all about all the fun things that you can do there. There's also Nightmare at UREC, so I mean, you probably I was gonna say if you don't like to get scared, like but not not that if you don't really if you want something different to do on Halloween, you can come to Nightmare at UREC. You want to talk a little bit about that? I’ve been talking for too much.
Lauren: So Nightmare at UREC is probably easily one of my favorite events at UREC. I don't know how you feel about it, but it is a cool alternative to going out and partying all weekend. So we have even if you if we do have a haunted house, it is definitely one of our most popular parts of Nightmare you will be standing in the line, but it is totally worth it. We put on a great show there but there's silent disco, there's raffles and prizes and oh yeah, the costume contest is super popular and people will go all out. I've seen some of the most crazy costumes and it's awesome. But yeah, it's a really great special event to again just kind of get to know UREC and what we offer because we also do you know just have normal stuff going on in the building at that time too.
Erin: Yep. I agree. It's awesome. I love UREC Fest. And then we have like Warm A Winter Wish, Battleship, other things like that. Those are like in the later seasons I didn't know how much I should talk about them now but UREC really has it all. It's got it all.
Lauren: It does. So speaking of UREC having it all we also are more than just one building. So coming in at number three we are going to kind of talk about the other facilities that we have and what's going on over there.
Erin: So we do have UPARK, so University Park is UREC’s main outdoor facility that's located off campus. It's about a five minute drive and is located at 1090 Devon Lane, if you want the address or you didn't even know about it. It has an 18 hole disc golf course, four flag football fields, three soccer fields, two softball fields, four tennis and pickleball courts. Pickleball is new. And if any pickleballers are listening, we have we have like adjustable net to go on the tennis courts, which is awesome because I didn't recently get into pickleball but like I really liked playing and every time I'd go to the building, all the pickleballers were there and so me and my friends started going to the park to play which is awesome. And it also has two sand volleyball courts and two basketball courts. And then if you don't, say you live on campus, or you just want to walk from UREC and you can't make it off campus to UPARK, you can go to UREC Turf, which is right between UREC and the Arboretum off University Boulevard. And the turfs hours are a little bit different from UREC so I definitely suggest checking online before you go, but there's two fields and lacrosse nets and soccer nets. So if you would just want to go play like pickup soccer or literally anything you want. There's definitely the turf, which I think I don't think a lot of people know about.
Lauren: Yeah, I love the turf and it is worth mentioning that we have a lot of our intramural sports out there. So if you ever want to participate in an intramural sport, that is where you're going to find a lot of those outdoor sports there as well.
Erin: Yeah, I lost every flag football game that I've ever played at UREC Turf. I tried my best, but we did lose every game.
Lauren: It's a good bonding experience. That's all that matters. So speaking of playing flag football, I know that you played it with a lot of our fellow employees here at UREC. So UREC is a great place to work. So coming in at number four is did you know you can work at UREC and we have over 500 student employees?
Erin: Yep. So I highly recommend working at UREC. I applied my freshman year, spring semester. So I was hoping to start working the beginning of my sophomore year, and even just the interview process. I could just tell I was like I love these people. Everyone in the building was so friendly and just happy to be there. Like even all the professional staff. I was like, what like all of these adults just love being here like and I'm a student I need to be here too. So I applied to work in Member Services, which is where I got my job. I loved it. I worked in the Welcome Center, also the Equipment Center, and a little bit at UPARK. And it was the best. I worked there for a year and a half met a lot of friends. I learned a lot about myself. I was terrified at the beginning to answer the phone. I was. So I was like, terrified of customer service, which is funny that I applied there. I was like, it'll be an easy job, I'm just going to be swiping people into the gym. But it was so much more than that I made so many connections. I like gained my mentor Erica, it was - it was just like the best opportunity. And then my junior year, I really wanted to expand my knowledge and challenge myself in the building and learn more about myself. So I applied to be an Operations Supervisor, we call them Op Sups, it's a team of people who come from all the different areas in the building, you can apply as an assistant or as a manager. And we work together on building security, building operations, participants safety and upholding the UREC culture. So there's only one of us on shift, and we have the keys in the building. So if people need to get in closets or doors are locked, and there's like an event that's happening, we also set up big events, we’re the first responders in the building. So if someone gets injured, or something's going wrong, we also evacuate the building. So we have all I don't need to, I don't need to keep going. But we have all these responsibilities. And so I was nervous to apply. But I went to what we call D3’s. So it's like a student professional development sort of seminar that UREC offers to student employees. And I learned I went to a resume building workshop, I went to an interview, like an interview training workshop. And they have, they gave me all these resources that I was like, alright, I might as well apply. Yeah, they're giving me ways to interview well and be a better professional, I might as well give back to them and try and try to get another position. So I have been an Op Sup for a while now. And like, I'm like a Super Sup, I’ve been here for a while. But even though I'm in grad school, and it's been like a lot to juggle, I just can't get enough of this building. So I refuse to quit. And, yeah, definitely just there's so many amazing opportunities when you're a student or a student employee atUREC. So also you can work in the areas that I talked about before. But there's also other job positions like Marketing Assistants, I talked a little bit about being a Member Services Assistant at the front. There's also like Facilities Assistants, or you can work in IT. So check out JMU Job Link, if you want a job at the gym, or if you want a job at UREC. The hours are very flexible, they're for students. So they're usually like three and a half, three hours, three and a half hours long. They can like fit in your schedule. We're open from six to like 11:30 most days. So there's lots of opportunities for you to get some shifts in and it's just a great way to work part time and have a good work life balance in college. And it's also just amazing to make endless connections and friends.
Lauren: Absolutely. Yeah, I can totally agree. I've worked here for almost two and a half. This is going on my third year here at UREC and I've met some of the greatest people in the world from all the student staff, to the pro staff, to my new job as a GA as well. So I definitely recommend if you ever want somebody to talk to I will have our contact information in our transcript and on the podcast episode information as well as the hiring links that will be going up soon, hopefully so definitely come and work at UREC and let us know if you have any questions. So kind of wrapping up at number five. We just want to know if you have any special UREC hacks for us because you know the building better than just about anybody else.
Erin: So UREC hacks that I let me think. Alright, so maybe like best times to work out. I'm not a first thing in the morning type of person that works out. But I have worked first thing in the morning and it's definitely the building is quieter. There's a lot more machines open, a lot more treadmills open, so probably when we open at six, I'd say until about noonish, 11, noon time I'd say it's like a good time to come work out if you either don't want to be around a million people or you don't want to have to wait for a squat rack or something like that. Some of the Op Sups say that eight a.m. is like a magic time. I never really worked out then because I'm usually in class but like test it for yourself, maybe it is. If you don't want it to be as busy I'd say the evening times the starting probably like five to nine is our busier time so we just have a lot more sport clubs, then we have intramurals, we have a lot more people there. So still come I'm not saying don't come. But it might take a little bit longer for you to like get a machine, if you're going to Fitness. Or if you want to come and you're just hoping to like, play basketball by yourself in like, a MAC Gym, that probably won't happen. You might just have to like join, you might just have to join in like a pickup game. Things like that. Another thing, another hack, I would say sign up for Group Ex classes. Just leave it at that but also early. So look at the schedule, plan your week schedule and then do it days before because if not, they're really popular and they will fill up fast and close on you.
Lauren: They will. I always plan my week out around that. Yeah, definitely. That 48 hours in advance. I set a timer. I'm like, I want to go to cycle class this day. Yeah, best believe I am going to be on URECRegister right when it opens.
Erin: Especially cycle. That's a really popular one. Also really talking about parking a little bit. So obviously the UREC lot is very popular of a lot for people to park. But maybe if the line is more than like three people, I would just go to Convo. That's what I always tell myself. I'm like, if there's more than three cars, not going to try to get a spot at UREC, it's just gonna be it's gonna be too packed. And I’m gonna be waiting too long, just take the walk from Convo. And we joke about that sometimes on the Op Sup team that we’ll be like, was there three cars? Oh, yup. Yeah, there was.
Lauren: You just get a walk before your workout. It's yeah, good. It's just a little warm up.
Erin: Yeah. And then you get to cool down on the way back up. I wish the cool down wasn't the uphill, but it's still good, it’s fine. Um, a few more things: the vending machine now accepts credit card. So we didn't used to always accept credit card. So just know that and Apple Pay. Oh, I didn't know that. Yes. Oh, wow. Ooh, that's good. Huh, I don't even need to carry my cards anymore. That's good to know. And that there's a new microwave in UREC by the vending machines. So if you're someone who likes to meal prep, and come workout and have your lunch box of food, you can heat it up in the microwave, and then sit in the Atrium and do your homework, which is amazing. And then lastly, I'd probably just say, if you're ever struggling with anything as a participant, like you lock something in your locker, or you dropped your AirPod in a Stairmaster, things like that. They happen all the time. Don't struggle, just ask an employee. If you ever like, ooo, I'm in a pickle, how am I going to fix this? Just ask someone in a purple shirt, because we are there and we want to help you and we're dying to help you. And that is what we're trained for and what we love to do. So don't ever struggle. Just ask someone in a purple shirt, I promise you, they'll be there for you to help.
Lauren: Absolutely. And all of us Pro Staff. If you see anybody dressed up around the building too that has a gold name tag we're more than happy to help you with anything you need help with. So that's probably the best thing about UREC is that everybody is a team and we're just here to help you in whatever way we can. Yep, exactly. Well, we're about out of time for today. So thank you so much, Erin, for joining us today. Do you have any last thoughts for us?
Erin: Um, I don't think so. Just come find me on shift and say, hi, I'll be in a black polo, you'll see me and my team walking around the building. If you don't see me, just say or talk to any of the other Operations Supervisors, we'd love to chat. Ask us questions. We could talk about UREC for hours on end. So please talk to us and please ask us any questions.
Lauren: Alrighty. Well, closing out. I just want to remind everybody to follow us on Instagram and TikTok @jmuurec you'll be able to stay up to date on our podcasts and everything else we have going on around UREC through there. That is the best way to stay up to date. We love our social media here at UREC and as always, Be Well Dukes.