Charger Rec Center celebrates 15 years on campus

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Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Charlotte Bassett

The front of the Beckerman Recreation Center, West Haven, Sept. 21, 2022.

Saige Batza, Arts & Life Editor

Fifteen years following their grand opening in the spring of 2008, the Beckerman Recreation Center continues to explore new ways to celebrate the university community and the impact the Rec Center has made on the lives of students since then.

Located right past the entrance of main campus, the Charger Rec Center houses multiple recreational gyms, where students can enjoy physical activity with friends and let off steam in between classes.

University students have many events to look forward to at the Rec this semester. The Charger Rec’s intramural sports season starts on Oct. 3, and registration closes at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28. They are also hosting GroupX classes Monday through Thursday; the schedule for these classes can be found on the Charger Rec’s official Instagram account.

In addition, they will be holding events in partnership with the Myatt Center, called Pride Moves with ChargerREC, during the first week of October. There will be various events during the week, ending on Oct. 8, with a field day event on Zolad Field.

Director of Campus Recreation Jess Scibek, said that student employees and faculty are what really make her hopeful about the future of the Rec Center at the university. She said, “What brought me to this campus are the same things that make me excited for the future: a student population that wants to be active and involved, student employees who are energetic and hardworking, faculty/staff who go out of their way to help students maintain balance and well-being while meeting their educational goals.”

Scibek emphasized that the Rec Center community continually strives to maintain a “culture of inclusivity and creativity.”

She highlighted the changes the Rec Center has made in serving the community since the start of the pandemic, as the building was used as a covid testing site and events were hosted to meet covid guidelines. She said, “Now we’re gradually getting back to transitional recreational activities – open recreation on the courts, fitness classes, resistance training, equipment check out, mind/body programs, hosting club sport competitions and playing full seasons of intramurals both indoors and outside.”

Assistant Director of Intramural Sports and Member/Guest Services Marissa Vittorio, said that in her four years working for the Rec Center, she has seen many changes. “Going from a student to a professional in the same department, under the circumstances we were held to at the time, helped me develop into the professional that I am today,” she said.

Vittorio talked about the sense of joy hat her job at the Rec Center has brought to her life, saying “TeamREC has been a huge part of my life, our staff is like my family, it is both the best and worst part of my job as I know they will all move on from here someday.”

One of Vittorio’s goals for the future is to help as many students as possible and provide opportunities for the campus community to get involved.

Brie Sousa, manager of programming and a university graduate student, said that her favorite aspect of working at the Rec Center is the community with other staff and students on campus. She said, “This is my fifth year working at the Rec Center and I have seen many changes from year to year, but the one consistent aspect of this job is the team environment. Many people I have met here are my closest friends and it makes this a great place to work.”

One piece of advice Sousa would give to students interested in applying for a position at the Rec Center is “to be themselves and know their strengths.” She said, “In order to have a team that functions the best it possibly can, we have people with many different strengths so that we can all assist each other and work together as a team.”

Zach Shaner, a junior forensic science major and Member Service Attendant (MSA), said that students can get involved with the Rec Center by playing some of the intramural sports available there. He said, “The sports we play in intramurals are split into four different seasons with our first season this year starting very soon with singles and doubles tennis, 7v7 flag football, indoor soccer, and cricket.”

Shaner said that his favorite aspect of working at the Rec Center is having the opportunity to interact with his co-workers. He said, “Since I started working here, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the other people that work in the building, and I love being able to come into work knowing that I’ll have a good time with everyone there.”