UBC Undergraduate Research

Analyzing Communication Strategies of UBC Recreation for Student Drivers Ng, Suzanne; Pederson, Nicole; Pesigan, Likha Mikaela; Ramirez, Balba Flores; Yu, Charriisa


Background: Commuters make up 75% of the student population at the University of British Columbia. If the commuter student population is unaware of the various athletic activities on campus, then they will directly contribute to low participation rates in these programs. Additionally, receiving participation from commuter students who commute by car (student drivers) in athletic programs is important because these students are more likely to adopt an “in-and-out attitude” in which they perceive University as a location where they solely attend classes and are more likely to develop a sedentary behaviour. Student drivers can benefit from participating in UBC Recreation programs since they will receive the opportunity to develop a social network of like-minded peers and live a more active lifestyle. Goal: The goal of this study is to receive insightful feedback from UBC student drivers about their commute, their awareness of UBC recreation activities, and their prefered communication methods. Thereafter, our goal is to assess the received feedback and generate useful suggestions for UBC Recreation to incorporate into their communication methods. Project Design: Mixed-method approach was used to collect both quantifiable and open-ended responses from participants through the online Google-Form survey platform. Participants in this project were UBC students who commute to UBC campus by car and park in one of the UBC parkade on a regular basis. Participants were recruited through social media platforms and referrals via emails. Questionnaires in the survey forms inquired about participants’ general demographic informations, perspectives on the UBC Recreation programs, and their preferred communication strategies from UBC Recreation. Project Outcomes: Student drivers’ knowledge and participation rate in UBC Recreation programs are low. Among the participants, first-year students have the highest involvement rate and is decreased in the upper-years.The lack of involvement of commuter students suggest an “in-and-out attitude”. Current communication strategies are not effective at communicating the UBC Recreation programs available to students who are not involved in extracurricular activities or competitive sports. Responses regarding the communication strategies were mostly negative or neutral, emphasizing on the the lack of organization and communication to promote UBC Recreation programs. Suggestions for Partner: Increasing social media presence would help inform more students since more than half of the participants in this study indicated that social media is their preferred communication tool. Targeting upper-year students, non-Kinesiology students and transfer students should be a priority since this group of students have the least awareness and participation in UBC Recreation programs. It is also advised that UBC Recreation notifies all students that activities for all level is offered and not only for the “hardcore” participants. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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