On any given day, one can walk into Tech Rec and instantly forget about the stresses of the outside world. Located inside the Student Center and open Monday through Saturday, the Tech Rec provides a place in the center of campus where students can unplug and become immersed in an entirely different, exciting and social environment.
“Tech Rec has a hugely positive impact on the community,” said Matt Jones, a Tech Rec student manager. “It’s a place where you can come and do something not school related. You forget you’re on campus, and you can just relax and become part of the community atmosphere.”
As a student manager, Jones gets a first-hand look at how Tech Rec is evolving and how the space can affect individuals and the whole community.
The launching of new initiatives and programs to make Tech Rec more accessible and enjoyable for students has been part of the evolution Jones observes.
“This past spring, we started free play Monday,” Jones said. “If you have a Buzzcard, everything is free until 5 p.m., and what we’ve seen is that there’s been a huge increase in the number of people who come in to use the space, a huge uptick in rentals.”
Moreover, events such as the upcoming Billiards Class and Bowling Class will be key to helping continue this trend of success and in making sure people can enjoy all that Tech Rec offers.
“Before, people didn’t really know Tech Rec was here,” Jones continued. “Now, we see groups of people that had never been here before coming in and playing a game of bowling between classes, or just sitting down to eat lunch.”
This change in pace at Tech Rec, however, has not been without plenty of work by the staff. Since its opening in the 1970s, Tech Rec has been constantly evolving to meet the needs of the Tech community.
Whether it is new games, renovations or activities, Tech Rec has needed to stay on its toes to ensure that the space is useful and exciting for students.
“We have new paint, we just finished installing new TVs and we plan on upgrading our gaming systems in the near future,” Jones said of the recent changes to Tech Rec. “All of these things help to engage the students and make Tech Rec more inviting.”
Central to keeping Tech Rec up-to-date is feedback from students and other patrons.
“People really like bowling and they really like billiards, while video games, for instance aren’t as popular,” said Jones. “When we see that, we either make changes that will hopefully make more people interested, or evaluate if better use could be made of the space.”
Actively working to make Tech Rec better has been key to maintaining Tech Rec’s positive impact and is reflected in the feedback given by students.
“We’ve been getting a ton of awesome feedback from our surveys, and they show that Tech Rec has been improving year after year,” Jones said. “It’s great to see our impact increasing as we continue to add more features and as people continue to find what interests them at Tech Rec.”
The diversity of opportunities and the uniqueness offered by Tech Rec are what make it so special and a place to be visited, according to Jones.
“Not that many schools have something like this to offer right on campus that is so accessible for everyone,” Jones added. “Our programs, our events and our activities are catered for students and make Tech Rec an exciting and dynamic place to be.”
Be sure to check out Tech Rec on social media to stay up to date on upcoming events, and stop in to enjoy a quick break from work and forget about the stress outside.