University Recreation

JMU students give UREC 99% satisfaction rating

Results from 16-17 continuing students survey

99%25 Satisfaction Rating
Students at UREC Fest Orientation Event

by Caroline Henry ('19)

James Madison University emphasizes engagement in the experiences of all of its students. Its programs encourage creativity, collaboration, and ethical consideration to prepare new graduates to be global citizens. One way in which the university assesses their success in this mission is by conducting an annual continuing student survey that is given to a random selection of JMU students and asks them to rate their satisfaction with JMU facilities, programs, and services. UREC has been included in the continuing student survey since 1996, by request of Eric Nickel, director of University Recreation.

The 2016-17 JMU Continuing Students Survey revealed that “ninety-nine percent of this year’s students indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the new UREC facilities” (See Table 16). This is a major jump from 85% satisfaction in 2012, which makes Nickel “tremendously proud.” However, the survey is only a quantitative assessment of student satisfaction with facilities, which, although an important number, excludes helpful feedback regarding UREC’s programs and services. “We’re more than the actual building,” Nickel was quick to clarify, “We’re here to teach students how to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles, which is what matters the most.”

The post-addition spaces allow programming staff to focus more intently on the needs and interests of participants, fostering more opportunities for students to develop healthy lifestyles. For example, the cooking classes held in the Demonstration Kitchen are geared toward affordable, healthy eating, making the knowledge gained in these classes applicable to students’ lives at present. Similarly, professional athletic training and massage services available on the second floor of the building emphasize the importance of caring for one’s body and offer the tools to help participants properly do so on their own time and budget.

With a larger building to look after, UREC now employs about 500 students, leaving an even greater impact on the JMU community. UREC staff emphasize the importance of the personal and professional growth of its student employees and has worked to create an open and safe environment in which they can thrive. “I feel extremely lucky to have so many opportunities to sharpen my professional skills,” a student employee shares, “but I’m even more grateful for the ways that UREC has allowed me to grow personally since I started working here.”

Like most organizations, UREC relies heavily on user feedback in order to improve overall. Quantitative results from studies like the continuing student survey combined with qualitative data from participants and employees help UREC get better every day. A ninety-nine percent satisfaction rate may be incredibly impressive, but you can be certain that UREC won’t stop looking for more ways to improve in the future!

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Published: Monday, November 27, 2017

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 2, 2019

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