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Charly Haley, Published January 06 2013

It's My Job: NDSU rec coordinator enjoys working with students

FARGO – North Dakota State University’s wellness center offers several intramural sports, recreation activities and a 34-foot-tall rock climbing wall.

It’s been JoVal Wettlaufer’s job to keep track of those facilities for the past six years. The 30-year-old is NDSU’s coordinator of campus recreation and intramural sports.

Can you explain your job?

I’m in charge of campus recreation here, so that includes all of our courts – our racquetball courts, our basketball courts. We have a multipurpose activity gym that we can do soccer in. We’ve done floor hockey in there before, dodgeball; we can play tennis in there.

So I’m in charge of all that, along with running all the intramurals. We have anywhere from men’s flag football, all the way to wallyball – that’s a fun sport. And then also I’m in charge of the rock wall, and I have a climbing staff with that. And then I have about 30 rec staff total.

How did you end up in this job?

I started working here as an undergrad student in 2002. I did my undergrad here and I did my grad school here. So then I just kept working here all the way through grad school, and when we added on this part of the facility – the climbing wall, the courts, we added this on in 2007 – and from then on I’ve had this position. I just moved up the chain.

And you’ve liked it so far?

Yes, I love it. We get to hang out with the students a lot. It makes me young.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is working with my students. I love seeing them starting working here as a freshman and then finishing out college and graduating and going into the real world. It’s fun to see them grow, see them get that working experience, and then move on.

What are some challenges of your position?

The challenge is always space. We don’t ever have enough space. Every college in this town is growing, and we don’t have enough space to house that.

So, the climbing wall some nights gets really busy, and we don’t always have that extra space to have special events or extra things like other people coming in to use our facility. Our court space – we are very limited right now. We also house club sports over here – they come over here and use our courts. So we’re just really short on space.

Another challenge would be (not) always having enough funding to do everything that we really want to do.

Are these facilities open to the community?

It’s just strictly for NDSU students. NDSU students fund this facility, so it is only for them. However, we have a few different things where you can be a dual-member if you know somebody who goes to school here.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311