We visited the Southern Methodist University Dedmon Center today. Since the campus recreation field is what I am passionate about, I seize every opportunity I can get ahold of to visit new recreation centers. I get excited about visiting new facilities, much like a kid in a candy store. My first impression walking in…Wow! The facility looks phenomenal since its renovation in 2006. Before we even started the tour, the executive director, Jorge, took the time to learn each of our names and interests. I might be a little biased, but the value of student development is why campus recreation is the best.
SMU has one of the most bizarre organizational structures in that the pep board and cheer squad report to the director. SMU is the only recreational sports department that has the pep band under its direction. Some unique features that I found most desirable, that we do not have at WKU, include a bouldering wall, sand volleyball courts, an outdoor aquatics facility (with a waterfall!) and a MAC court. The MAC court allows for indoor soccer, floor hockey and other intramural sports to be created and utilize that space.
Since SMU is a private institution, only faculty/staff and students are allowed to use the facility. Unfortunately, alumni cannot have memberships, which is a big revenue generator for WKU. Overall, I was very impressed with all the Dedmon Center had to offer to the student population. One of the most outstanding aspects of campus recreation is that each facility is unique to its institution and student culture, and that was evident in our visit to SMU.
–Allie Bogard, Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration (General)