Loved by All, Here For All

by ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Public Relations Assistant 


COVID has impacted campus recreation in a number of ways and campus recreation had to adjust on the fly over the past several months to try to offer students as many recreation opportunities as possible while ensuring they are abiding by COVID rules and guidelines set forth by Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the State of Minnesota.  

Otto Recreation Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato

One of the most loved areas of school has been impacted by COVID as many others have. Otto Recreation Center is open and operational with over 15K bookings already.

The space within the facility has been split up into rooms with different capacities. The weight room has a capacity of 25, as well as the upper cardio area. The basketball courts have a maximum of 5 per hoop. 

These areas are reservable to prevent people from having to be turned away to maintain the facility under capacity. The reservation system also serves as a method of contact tracing if need be.

Being the most frequently used facility by students; the reopening of the space has been a challenge but also a success with thousands of bookings to date.

The students have adapted well since many were used to freely move between spaces without the need to socially distance. It is important to note that some activities aren’t allowed such as basketball (1v1, 3v3, etc.).

However, students can still shoot hoops or play horse or lightning. Make sure that if you are planning to visit the recreation Center you book a reservation in advance. 

If you are looking to do group exercise, reservations can also be done. The in-person group exercises classes are restricted to a lower-class size; however, the main group exercise studio is already being outfitted as a zoom room.

It is anticipated that sometime after Thanksgiving zoom group exercises will be offered. Finally, they have been expanding their YouTube channel with group exercise classes to give students an “on-demand” option for those seeking group exercise training. 

Intramural sports regularly played in the Fall such as NFL Pick’em, Slowpitch softball, and volleyball (4v4 instead of our usual 6v6) were offered, however, it is still unclear what will be offered in the Spring. The COVID19 situation that influences the MDH regulations will impact what will be offered when classes resume in January. 

The Maverick Adventures Program continues to offer events including the bike maintenance clinic, group bike rides, and group hikes. This Friday there is a group hike at the 7-Mile Creek Park. Outdoor recreation is a great mental and physical health and there are many options available in the Mankato Community, the Center encourages students to continue to explore and take advantage of these areas. 

The Sports Dome will be opening on Oct. 26 to current students, but it is still unclear what will be allowed. The Center’s Administration has closely been working with the MDH to finalize the guidelines to operate the facility and the information will be posted to the website along with the various social media accounts. 

Sadly, the rock wall remains closed, but the Center continues to offer many of its facilities and usual programming. The changes that we see follow MDH guidelines and are there for the safety of everyone.

Ben Nelson stated: “We don’t know at this point when we will be able to move things back to fully normal operations.  We must follow MDH guidelines, so that will determine how fast we can return to ‘normal.’  We hope that with an eventual dip in case rates that we’ll be able to allow more people in our facilities and offer more full-contact sport options.”

The future still holds many unknowns, but for now, we can continue to enjoy the facilities and programs that Campus Rec offers and so many love.

For more information on Campus Rec, CLICK HERE.


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