Who Ya Callin’ a User?: The Impact of How You Define Participants in Campus Recreation

Recorded On: 07/01/2020

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As we seek to count our participants, set informed goals, and quantify our value, how does campus recreation count and define participants? At what level of participation do academic benefits occur? Finally, what participant groupings are both practically useful and statistically significant? This session is geared toward those who seek to count or study participants. Presenters will demonstrate the impact of various user and will use group definitions through examining the relationship between campus recreation participation and student persistence from their first year to their second, as well as first year cumulative GPA. Presenters will also offer recommendations for how to define and group participants.

Learning Outcome(s)

  1. Apply theory and literature to decisions regarding how to define participants and user groupings in reporting, goal setting, and research.
  2. Describe and apply previous research of value to campus recreation, specifically related to how to define group participants.
  3. Summarize research on the value of campus recreation in student success.


  • Business Management
  • Facilities Design & Management


  • 0.5 NIRSA CEUs

Sera Zegre

Research Coordinator

West Virginia University

Sera Janson Zegre has worked as the research coordinator for WVU Campus Recreation since July 2017; she has conducted social science research since 2006 and has taught research methods in social science to upper level undergraduates at WVU since 2011. Sera has presented research at various professional conferences, and published in peer-reviewed, agency, technical, and organizational publications. Sera is a social scientist and educator with a background in public land management, natural resource policy and law and asset-based community planning. She offers expertise in issues related to outdoor recreation and natural resources.

When she's working or parenting, she's dreams of her favorite activity: immersive dancing with bubbles and underwater currents in rivers with a mer-tail.

Andrew Darling, RCRSP

Director of Campus Recreation

West Virginia University

Andy has spent the last 28 years focused on a variety of aspects of the recreation industry including Campus Recreation administration, student development programming, facilitation and training, as well as consulting on the development of several campus recreation departments. He has served in a number of roles at four higher education institutions, including as director for two of them. In this capacity, Andy has collaborated in development and implementation of IRB approved research at both.

Craig Decker, RCRSP


University of Alabama at Birmingham

Currently Craig serves as the Director for University Recreation at Centers, LLC at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Craig got his start in campus recreation as a student employee at Indiana University. After graduating from IU he went on to receive his Master of Science degree from the University of Florida. While he was attending UF he worked as a Graduate Assistant for Facility Operations with their RecSports Department. Through his next five professional positions he has over fifteen of experience within the campus recreation field.

Working at UAB comes after stops at West Virginia University, Florida Atlantic University, University of Florida, and University of Virginia. Through his different roles he has had responsibilities for daily facility and technology operations, facility maintenance projects, business administration, and has overseen undergrad, graduate, and professional staff. He has served as the Member Network Chair, Region II Representative, and as a NIRSA State Director from both West Virginia and Florida and presented at annual and regional conferences. Craig is also a graduate of the 2013 School of Recreational Sports Management, Level 1.


Who Ya Callin’ a User?: The Impact of How You Define Participants in Campus Recreation
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
1.00 NIRSA CEUs credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 NIRSA CEUs credit  |  Certificate available