UREC offers Week of Welcome clinics, classes to kick off semester

Outdoor Recreation Center to host slackline clinics, paddleboard trips; students can try activities before registering for classes



Junior Aaron Fisher works out with a medicine ball at the Student Recreation Center.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen news editor

University Recreation is offering skills clinics, free fitness classes and an open-house style UREC Bash during Week of Welcome to introduce Cougs to different activities available on campus.

Many fitness classes during Week of Welcome do not require registration, making this a good time to try a new activity, said Jessica Whitt, UREC fitness services and instruction assistant director. 

Students can try out an activity to see if they like it before registering for the first session of classes. They can stand back and watch or dive head-first into an activity, said Arturo Gavilanes, UREC climbing wall and challenge program coordinator. 

Classes include yoga, kickboxing, pole fit and more, according to the UREC website.

The Outdoor Recreation Center is offering slackline clinics, sunset stand-up paddleboard trips to the Snake River and a Kamiak Butte hike, said Matt Wagner, UREC outdoor programs coordinator.

“All of our programming is set up for beginners,” Wagner said. “We have set it up to where … you don’t need experience to do any of this.”

Participants learn how to use equipment during the clinics so they can confidently rent and use outdoor gear later, he said. Longer trips help people develop interpersonal relationships and achieve goals as a team.

Those interested in participating can register online; there is a fee for some outdoor programs during Week of Welcome, Wagner said. However, all ORC trips and clinics are free during the first week of classes. 

“More people are more willing right now because they’re just so eager to get outside,” he said. “Everyone’s eager to go out and do things and meet people.”

There is a chance outdoor programs may be canceled during Week of Welcome because of poor air quality, Wagner said. 

UREC Bash, a free open-house style event showcasing UREC’s different activities and clinics, will conclude the week’s programs at 11 a.m. Sunday, Gavilanes said. Students can watch demonstrations and try different activities to see if they are interested in taking a class.

“Any equipment we have, any programs we offer — we’re going to just lay it out for everybody to see how we do what we do, ask questions and engage,” he said. 

Being active and having a social group are both proven to help with mental health. Gavilanes said he enjoys his job because he gets to see students connecting over activities. 

“I’m always so satisfied to see some of the same people throughout the semester … spend their entire day at the climbing wall because they’ve found the community they want to be around,” he said. “That’s kind of warm fuzzies, heartwarming for me.”

All fitness classes are free during All Access Week, which is the first week of classes. After that, classes have a registration fee, Whitt said.