RecPlex employees reflect on how COVID-19 impacted their work

COVID-19 brought on new challenges for student employees at UD’s RecPlex. 

Amanda Averill | Contributing Writer


COVID-19 has made a dent in the lifestyle of every student on campus, but how has it affected the RecPlex and its employees? 

The RecPlex at the University of Dayton has made an abundance of changes to their guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this being said, the job responsibilities for those who work there have been altered as well. 

“Although I understand why some students may find our covid restrictions inconvenient, I also know that these restrictions are necessary for the Rec to keep operating successfully during a pandemic,” said Jenna Cywinski, sophomore and facility operations attendant at the RecPlex. 

Matthew Mittelstaedt, senior and facility operations and membership services lead supervisor for student staffing, said, “some of the largest visible differences have been the set up of the building to allow physical distancing between the equipment and the policies surrounding masks and sanitation.”

When asked how her responsibilities have changed, Jackie Cywinski, senior and facility operations supervisor said, “we have to sanitize our work stations hourly and spray down the gym equipment in the afternoon, whereas before covid, patrons would just wipe down the equipment themselves before and after working out.”

The RecPlex staff does have concerns that come with the stricter regulations, such as ensuring students follow those guidelines. The employees have been given more responsibilities to keep the RecPlex safe for the students and staff. 

“The main concern I have for working at the Rec during the pandemic is the amount of people who don’t adhere to the mask policy,” said Jackie Cywinski. 

Cywinski said that she has had many instances that have led them to kick students out for continuously removing their masks. 

Mittelstaedt explained that each time the RecPlex opens a new area and makes policy changes, they must get those changes approved by the Path Forward Task Force. This is composed of university officials, public health officials and medical experts who carefully examine the policies to ensure that they will be implemented in a manner that does not compromise the health and safety of the patrons or staff members. 

Focusing on the health of the staff, Jenna Cywinski discussed her personal fears when it came to going into work during a pandemic. 

“During my first semester at Dayton when covid numbers were increasing by hundreds of new cases a day, I often felt anxious going into work,” Cywinski said. “Even though the employees took all precautions, I still sometimes would worry that working would expose me to the virus and I also worried about possibly bringing the virus back to my roommates.”

According to Jackie Cywinski, the previous semester did not have any COVID-19 cases that were directly related to the RecPlex. This allowed them the comfort of knowing that they were doing their jobs well, protecting themselves and the patrons the best they could. 

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