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The Backbone of the Auburn Recreation and Wellness Center

So much comes to mind when we think about the Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center. The fancy building, advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment give the recreation center the wow factor that it deserves. But, there is so much more to the recreation center than the material things. It doesn’t just strive off of its $72 million facility, it also strives off of its hard-working employees.

The staff is the backbone of the recreation center. Without them, the facility wouldn’t keep its reputation of having a happy and welcoming environment. It also isn’t easy to work at the facility. The employees are held at high standards to keep the facility running efficiently. The staff is separated into four divisions, such as, membership, facilities, operations and supervisors.

Tyler Goins, a staff member in the membership division at the facility, takes his job very seriously. As part of the membership division, Goins is responsible for greeting people as they enter and leave the facility. They thrive on showing a great deal of hospitality and professionalism toward visitors. “We are the first and last impression for the people who come through our doors,” said Goins. “We make sure to give them the proper respect they deserve so they leave happy with the services we provide them.”

11040072_10206333958772920_1840166639_nThe Auburn University Recreation and Wellness Center is one of the only campus recreation facilities in the country that has greeters. The greeters do their best to keep the facility as upbeat as possible. “Some people come in the facility pumped up for their workout but then there are some people who come to relieve built up stress,” said Goins. “If you greet them in a negative way then you can contribute to that stress which is the last thing we want to do.”

Another important part of Goins’ job is giving tours to visitors, especially prospective students. Goins loves giving tours because he can tell when the prospective students actually want to go to Auburn. “When I’m giving facts about the facility it’s nice to see the intrigued looks on the faces of the prospective students,” said Goins. “It’s cool to see that I’m helping them fall in love with Auburn in the same ways that I love Auburn.”

For the most part, everyone that works at the facility is a student at Auburn so it’s a great way to meet other students. Since you have to be personable to work at the facility, everyone seems to know each other very well.

The employees are also very close with their supervisors and they are always available for help and feedback. “Our voice really matters to our supervisors,” said Goins. “They always listen to what we have to say because it helps make the facility better each and every day.”

Goins has learned so much from his experience working at the facility because of the high standards he is held to. “I learned how to be more personable and professional,” said Goins. “The tradition of having an Auburn Family is definitely lived throughout the recreation center because we treat each other like family because we care about the needs of each other and the people that we serve.”

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The Life of the Auburn Water Ski Club

A unique club sport to get involved with is the Auburn University Water Ski Club. This club has a very friendly group of people who love fun and enjoy life on the water. A perfect day for an Auburn water skier is spending the day on Faith Lake in their 2009 Mastercraft ProStar boat with a nice pair of water skis.

The club currently has 25 members from all over the country. They practice at Faith Lake, which is 30 minutes outside of Auburn. “The greatest part about our team is that it’s very noncommittal,” said JB Hampton, the president of the Auburn Water Ski Team. “We have a very relaxed environment because we endorse fun.”

The Water Ski Club has approximately five tournaments each year. The events included in the tournaments are slalom, trick and jump. The club team is in the South Atlantic Conference so they compete with many surrounding colleges, such as, the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson University and the University of Alabama.

401963_10200488217500429_1584334726_nThey travel to many different tournaments in surrounding states, such as, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina. “One of the main reasons we’re on this team is to meet people from other schools,” said Hampton. “Since I’ve joined this club I’ve made many friends from all around the country.”

Each one of their tournaments is unique in its own way. They rotate having their tournaments at different locations so it’s always fresh and new. All of the ski clubs in their division do the best they can to get to know each other. They have camp outs and even go on snow ski trips together once a year. “The people I met when I first joined this club are still my friends to this day,” said Hampton. “We have a great time together because we go through really unique and fun experiences as a team.”

If the team ranks high enough in their division, they go to the NCWSA Collegiate Nationals Tournament. This not only gives them a chance to compete longer, but it also gives them the opportunity to meet more people from every part of the country. This past year the Auburn Water Ski Club made it to nationals and placed fourth in their division.

10665770_766770786718115_5957452042028368454_nThis club has a rich history, dating back 40 years ago. Their alumni loved their experiences so much that they’re still active in the club. “Sometimes they’ll come back to ski or just hang out,” said Hampton. “They will always be part of our water ski family.”

A great plus about this club is that it’s one of the cheapest clubs Auburn has to offer because you don’t have to own any of the equipment. “We have life jackets, ropes, skis, bibs, all the essentials,” said Hampton. “The only thing we don’t provide is a bathing suit.”

To join the Water Ski Club you don’t even need to know how to ski. If you’re interested in joining the club they’ll take you to the lake for free and guarantee you will leave knowing how to ski. “At my very first tournament I ran into the bank and came out of my skis,” said Hampton. “We all make mistakes which is why it’s so easy to shake off our errors.”

The club meets every Monday at 8 p.m. in the conference room at the recreation center on campus. If you are interested in the club, contact JB Hampton at (334) 303-8656 or email him at waterski.club@auburn.edu.

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Sigma Kappa presents Sigma Hold’em

The Theta Xi chapter of Sigma Kappa at Auburn University hosted its annual philanthropy event, Sigma Hold’em, on Feb. 23 and 24. Sigma Hold’em is a poker tournament held at SkyBar Cafe that benefits the Sigma Kappa Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association.

The event was a Texas Hold’em tournament and consisted of three rounds of poker for the participants. The winners from those rounds made it into the winners’ tournament for an opportunity to win big prizes. Some of the prizes consisted of a Yeti cooler, four box seats to a Nashville Predators hockey game, a mini iPad and a Michael Kors watch. They could even win various gift cards for mani/pedis, massages, Kinnucan’s Speciality Outfitter and Visa.

10930927_939482309419700_6616812406106895709_n1The whole chapter was involved with the event. The members acted as poker dealers, servers and fundraisers. They worked hard to sell tickets to the event, shirts, and they even raised money through online donation pages.

“February is my favorite month because our whole chapter comes together to raise awareness for our five philanthropies, but most importantly the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Shea Davis, the president of the Sigma Kappa chapter. “It’s an amazing feeling to see the members work so hard to raise thousands of dollars for a worthy cause.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

10922855_942195862481678_8003851559989500782_nMary Davis Kennedy, the vice president of philanthropic services for Sigma Kappa, has a very personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease.

“My grandfather is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s right now so it’s one of those things that is starting to become very important in my life,” she said.

This event gave the Sigma Kappa members an opportunity to raise awareness for this worthy cause.

“It has been a crazy process but it was definitely worth it because our philanthropies are so near and dear to our hearts,” said Kennedy. “My favorite part of the event was seeing it all come together and seeing the players having a great time while reaching our goal.”

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Auburn Airwaves Concert Social Media Release

Pitch:

On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the University Program Council (UPC) at Auburn University will be hosting their Auburn Airwaves concert at Toomer’s Corner during the University’s Corner Block Party. It will be a free event with performances by artists, such as, Kesha, Nelly and Nick Jonas. It will take place the same day as A-Day so the event is open to the public and there will be an open container law.

Background:

UPC is a student-led organization that brings a variation of events to Auburn University’s campus. Their mission is to provide an engaging atmosphere that enhances the Auburn experience by programming events planned, organized and executed by students for students. UPC gets funding for its events from the Student Government Association. These funds come from the student activity fee that every Auburn student pays as part of their tuition.

Auburn Airwaves consists of concerts hosted by UPC. The concerts vary on whether they are open to students or the public and they are composed of all different music genres.

Facts:

  • The event is on April 18, 2015
  • Takes place at Toomer’s Corner
  • It is free and open to the public
  • Headliners are Kesha, Nelly and Nick Jonas
  • It is hosted by the University Program Council at Auburn University
  • There will be an open container law

Quotes:

“It will be right after A-Day so there will be a lot of families that come down,” said Amanda Hurite, the UPC president. “And it’s on a Saturday night this year, so the students are going to be ready to go and excited about it. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone show up.”

“Last year we sold out the arena which is capped at about 5,000 students,” said Sagar Leva, the UPC director of major entertainment. “This year, we’re expecting 25,000-30,000 people. It’s the pop/hip-hop concert everyone wanted.”

Multimedia:

10842062_10153334905292033_4796190779789334686_o 11164823_10153334908607033_9028254731755785517_n 11174752_10153334907292033_3261718146301272832_o(All photos from UPC’s Facebook page)

Social Media:

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Relevant Links:

UPC’s website

Contact Information:

UPC President: Amanda Hurite

anh0019@auburn.edu

UPC director of major entertainment: Sagar Leva

upc@auburn.edu