Colorado State University’s department of Campus Recreation brought eight awards home from the recent conference of NIRSA (formerly known as the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association), leaving as the most decorated collegiate recreation program in the country this year.


The NIRSA awards celebrated the marketing and communication efforts of Campus Recreation as well as the individual accomplishments of two professional staff members.

“National recognition of Campus Recreation’s talented professional and student staff members was a result of their dedication and effort to improve the recreation and well-being experience, with a focus on involvement and inclusion, for Colorado State’s community as a whole,” said Judy Muenchow, executive director of Campus Recreation.

The 2018 national conference took place the week of March 4 in Denver and was attended by more than 2,700 professionals. The conference host committee assembled professionals from across the state to lead the planning efforts, including Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado, Regis University and Colorado State University. Professionals from CSU served on the committee, including 2018 Conference Chair Erin Patchett.

Excellence in marketing


Campus Recreation’s marketing and communications efforts were awarded three Creative Excellence Awards, including two gold awards and one bronze. The Creative Excellence Awards focus on outstanding marketing and advertising materials published by the NIRSA membership.

Campus Recreation took home Gold in the Comprehensive Brochure & Facility Publication category and both Gold and Bronze in the Student Publication category. The projects recognized include videos, brochures and a first-year student poster series, all worked on and developed by student staff members.

CSU’s Campus Recreation also won three awards in the T-shirt design competition. Two first-place ribbons were presented in the staff shirt and outdoor program shirt categories, as well as a third-place ribbon in the single-color screen category.

Campus Recreation’s marketing and communications work is primarily executed by a dedicated student team consisting of 14 students in positions ranging from graphic designers to photographers, all overseen by one professional staff member. Each person on the team works collaboratively on creative projects to gain real-world experience that can transfer to their eventual careers.

Individual Awards

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Article by Bailey McCaffrey

The debate is out… Is it more fun to play an Intramural sport, or to officiate one? Both working and playing in this department builds genuine community, encourages physical activity, and increases the competitive desire to be the best you can be. The IM program offers for more than what is seen on the field, the court, or in the pool.


Jack Varuska is a current employee in this department officiating flag football, soccer, and basketball. His expertise in Intramural Sports provides insight on why working for this program is a positive experience and how it provides numerous opportunities for employees.


Varuska is a third year at Colorado State University and began working for this department in January. Over the last four months, he has been influenced by the inclusivity and the positivity of other officials.


The Intramural staff engages Campus Recreation members in a way that promotes fairness, inclusivity, and fun. They also keep players safe and allow for a structured and recreational way to stay active.


There are close to 30 different Intramural Sports offered at Campus Recreation. Each one needs willing and passionate referees to run smoothly. Whether you’re Interested in soccer, softball, football, bench press competitions, tube water polo, spikeball tournaments, or the many other sports available, each is made possible by our amazing Intramural employees.


Varuska’s favorite memory since joining the program was officiating the championship basketball game. “The high level play and the intensity of the game made everyone working want to make the best calls they could.” says Varuska. He officiated this game alongside three other employees, Jack, Ben, and Cam, who made the game enjoyable through laughter and encouragement to one another.


If you are interested in joining this community of referees, Campus Recreation Intramural is hiring; please contact Matt McCarthy (Coordinator, Intramural Sports) for more information about becoming an official. No previous experience is required, because training for each sport is done before the start of each season. Varuska and the rest of the department encourage anyone who is passionate about sports, enjoy physical activity, and has the willingness to learn to apply for an official position. Positions open for hire are posted on RamWeb through your student account.


Thank you to every IM ref for what you do for our department. All of your hard work is needed and appreciated.

Article by Bailey Mccaffrey

Not representative of a type, group, or class.

Campus Recreation has endless possibilities for every member, so why can it be hard to find your place here?

When you walk into our Recreation center, where do you go? The basketball court, the rock wall, a fitness class, the weight room? The possibilities are endless here, yet it is easy to feel out of place, or boxed in

Atypical stories are important to share because they pave the way for diversity and counter the dominant narratives. When we tell stories that are more inclusive, we begin to create an overall more welcoming atmosphere for everyone participating in Campus Recreation. It is time we celebrate people who expand their comfort zone and experience new areas at Campus Recreation

The ¡Vamos Outdoors! program at CSU Campus recreation reminds us, no matter what race you identify as, the mountains are Calling you, too.

In the Fall of 2017, Aileen Palma started this program to encourage people of Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx heritage to join the outdoor recreation movement and take to the mountains. On these trips, participants learn new outdoor skills, build relationships, and are pushed outside their comfort zones.

¡Vamos Outdoors!, has been to the sand dunes, camped, hiked, and snowshoed in Rocky Mountain National Park this year. To even further expand their outdoor abilities, the group is headed to Horsetooth reservoir to rock climb on April 15. Each trip allows participants to challenge themselves, and people of all different experience levels are encouraged to get involved.

The vision behind ¡Vamos Outdoors! is to invite people with Latinx heritage into a space of community where identities can be celebrated and deep relationships can be created through the environment and recreation

“I want this to be a good opportunity for any level of outdoor enthusiast. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, this is a great chance to meet people from the same background and connect deeper through the outdoors,” states Palma.

If you identify as a Latinx individual and have an interest in the outdoors, trips are open and you are encouraged to join. Contact Aileen Palma with the Outdoor Program at CSU Campus Recreation for more information. Or visit our website trip details HERE.

Thank you for all you are doing to break, “norms,” at our recreation center Aileen, Jovan, and all other participants!