Freshman fitness program concludes

The end of this semester will mark the end of the first freshman fitness program at Butler University.

Fresh Fit was designed to motivate  students to use the wellness resources available to them by offering points and prizes for attending fitness-related events.

Beth Lohman, assistant recreation director at the Health and Recreation Complex, said she saw other schools offer incentive programs to first-year students. A majority of the programs were based on weight loss at a recent conference.

Unlike the other programs, Lohman said she wanted Fresh Fit to focus on wellness.

“It’s all about mental, physical and social health,” said Hannah Stiller, a fitness assistant at the HRC, “not to stay away from the Freshman 15, but to orient students with campus.”

One of the biggest challenges in coordinating Fresh Fit was spreading the word to students, Stiller said. Still, 365 freshmen registered for the program.

Students received points for not only going to HRC activities but also for going to other wellness programs around campus. Students kept track of their points on cards, which program directors, personal trainers or fitness instructors would check off.

“Everyone wanted to help,” Lohman said. “That was the cool part.”

Over time though, not everyone who registered stayed active.

“The program was a lot bigger at the beginning,” said freshman Annie LeClere, a group fitness instructor.

Still, a couple of people come up to her at the end of her classes to have their cards signed off.

“People had a hard time finding new cards,” LeClere said.

One of the main issues with Fresh Fit this year was keeping track of points manually using cards.

Stiller had to log the points freshmen turned in by hand. She hopes, in the future, the points will be connected to students’ IDs. That way, when students scan into an event, they will automatically receive the appropriate points.

“Anytime you launch a program, there will be things that come up unexpectedly,” Lohman said.

Next year, Lohman said she hopes Fresh Fit will find a way to award people who exercise outside the HRC as well. Stiller, LeClere and Lohman all consider Fresh Fit a great program and believe it has benefitted a number of people.

“We want to dispel the stereotype of the freshman who isn’t active,” Stiller said.

At the end of the program, students will be asked to fill out a survey about their experiences, which Lohman, Stiller and the other coordinators plan to use in order to make the program stronger next year.

In 2013, Fresh Fit will still be a focus of the HRC’s programming, Stiller said. This year, she said, staff introduced a lot of new programming, so next year will be more about strengthening what they have.