Flying squash balls, basketballs and volleyballs aimed at new Recreational Sports Center staff during their first announcement on the loudspeaker is one of the ways employees begin to get to know each other, said exercise senior Konnor George, a building coordinator at the RSC.
“The people here welcome you with open arms,” George said. “We’re always trying to get new people to open up.”
On a long semester morning, about 80 people swipe their IDs to use the gym, but in the summer, there might only be 12. Apart from the various camps that use the facilities for volleyball, cheerleading and basketball, the RSC largely clears out.
Since the camps run autonomously, RSC employees often find themselves with extra time on their hands. Staffers usually take on extra duties, like extended cleaning and maintenance of the gym’s facilities.
To maintain productivity and keep the office energy up, the staff competes in trivia, sack races and variations of basketball. The building coordinators are usually the ones in charge of maintaining high energy within the teams.
George said the games are a way to divvy up the more tedious chores like mopping, sweeping and window-cleaning while keeping the job fun.
Education senior Chrystal Lopez said trivia is one of the staff’s go-to games. Questions can be anything from history to the seemingly random, such as the number of hearts a worm has.
“[One question] was — and this was ridiculous — how many licks to get to the bottom of a tootsie pop?” Lopez said. “Apparently some university had this robot thing that licked a tootsie pop, and that’s how the answer was determined.”
Jennifer Speer, the associate director of communications for RecSports, said this work environment isn’t new but is a long-standing tradition with student employees at RecSports.
“They have such a fondness and loyalty to their teams and this has been the case for years,” Speer said. “They work so closely and depend on each other so much that RecSports teams become very powerful.”
Some RecSports team members have ended up as roommates or even as a part of each other’s weddings.
“We’re all really close,” Lopez said. “I know it’s a cliché, but we’re a family.”