ASI Campus Recreation Connects And Grows At NIRSA Conference

ASI Campus Recreation Connects And Grows At NIRSA Conference

Former and current ASI Campus Rec students and staff gathered at alumni event
Photo of former and current ASI Campus Recreation students and professional staff gathered at their alumni event. 

Five student employees and six professional staff members of ASI Campus Recreation had the opportunity to travel to Denver, Colorado on March 4-7 for the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) conference.

The purpose of NIRSA is to highlight and regulate collegiate recreation organizations across the nation. The national conference takes place in a different city across the nation each year, and members are invited to attend workshops, seminars and network with campus recreation employees from various universities in the U.S.

ASI Campus Rec has sent representatives to the NIRSA conference for over 15 years, long before the Bronco Recreational and Intramural Complex (BRIC, Bldg. 42) was constructed.

Workshops and seminars offered at the conference included varying topics that ranged from sustainability, marketing, inclusion and management.

Shelbi Long, associate director of Campus Recreation attended many workshops at the conference and highlighted an inclusion workshop as one of her favorites of the week. This workshop by Sacramento State focused on the importance of offering programs for students of all abilities, and how other recreation departments can build upon the inclusive environment they create for students.

A unique addition to this year’s conference was an informal Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) alumni event that our attendees coordinated. In addition to our 11 CPP representatives, 12 alumni who are now in graduate or professional positions at universities including Ohio University, University of Houston and Cal State Monterey Bay connected for a night of reminiscing on their time at CPP and discussed how much the Campus Rec department has grown over the years.

Four ASI professional staff memebers
Featured in photo from left to right: Kaycee Tanioka, Intramural Sports (IM Sports) and Sport Clubs coordinator; Raamen Bass, former ASI IM Sports coordinator; Shelbi Long, associate director of Campus Recreation; and Andy Ramirez, former ASI IM Sports coordinator.

This conference also provided opportunities for our current students to network and interview for job opportunities with universities from all over the country. Fourth-year dietetics student Nataly Arellano Rodriguez stated, “I was able to look into possible graduate assistantships for the following year when I graduate.”

One of the most powerful factors of the conference is the like-mindedness of all the attendees.

“Being able to explore a different state and get together with individuals that have the same values and motivation as you is something that I will always be thankful for,” Arellano Rodriguez concluded.

The five current students who attended the conference received funding through ASI‘s Emerging Leader program. This program was created to provide opportunities for ASI Campus Rec students to develop their leadership skills and skill sets.

“Opportunities are concentrated toward skill development directly related to providing highest quality recreational services as well as transferable skills,” Long said. “This program is intended to support and reflect the ‘learn by doing‘ philosophy on which Cal Poly Pomona is built.”

Beginning next year, this program will expand and include all ASI student employees.

ASI Campus Recreation’s affiliation with NIRSA is long-standing, and the department leaders plan on sending representatives to the conference for many years to come.

“This national conference is just extremely valuable for the success of our students and our professional staff when they go,” Long said. “I think that attending this conference just strengthens what we are currently doing and helps provide successful and innovative programs and services for the Cal Poly Pomona community.”

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