More than three-quarters of students surveyed participate in Campus Recreation

October 30, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. –  After changes to the membership fee structure and renovations to the IM and White Buildings in 2017, Campus Recreation wanted feedback from students on their recreational experiences at Penn State.

To that end, the Campus Recreation survey was administered to a sample of 12,000 University Park students in spring 2018, with a response rate of approximately 13 percent. Survey questions asked both undergraduate and graduate students about their awareness of and participation in Campus Rec programs, frequency of facility usage, satisfaction with Campus Rec, incentives and barriers to participation, and student health and well-being.

Results show that Campus Recreation is well-used at Penn State and that students are largely satisfied with its offerings and quality of services.

Awareness, participation, and frequency of use

The most utilized features of Campus Recreation were the IM Building, the White Building, and fitness and wellness programming. The White and IM buildings were used more by on-campus students, while off-campus student used the Recreation Building the most. Students were least aware of the Stone Valley Recreation Center, Vertical Adventures and the Outdoor Adventures program.

In a typical week, 77.8 percent of students surveyed patronized the facilities, and 68.5 percent indicated that they only participate in recreation or leisure activities offered by Penn State.


When asked about their overall satisfaction with the schedule of offerings—which included the variety, frequency, and dates/times of classes, trips, and league activities—86.2 percent of students indicated they were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied. In terms of the overall quality of offerings, such as knowledge of instructors, friendliness of staff, usefulness of website, cleanliness of facilities, 88.4 percent were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied.

Incentives and barriers to participation

Students indicated that their top three motivations for participating in Campus Recreation were exercise, health and well-being, and stress management. Regarding incentivization, 72.2 percent stated that having a friend accompany them, and 52.6 percent stated that giveaways would encourage more participation. Overall, the most cited barriers to participation were a lack of time and schoolwork. However, off-campus students rated parking/transportation and their jobs as greater barriers than on-campus students.

For more information on this survey and this data, visit the Student Affairs Research and Assessment Website or call 814-863-1809.

Penn State Student Affairs Research and Assessment supports the mission of Student Affairs and the University by serving as a leader in gathering actionable data that inform decision-making, planning, and improvement efforts around programs, initiatives and policies.

Last Updated November 05, 2018