Wilson Bautista is the Associate Director for Informal Recreation at the University at Buffalo.
What are some of your responsibilities as Associate Director for Informal Recreation?
I manage all non-structured programing that Alumni Arena has to offer. Examples would be overseeing the Member Services office, the Fitness Center and the student staff, being the pool supervisor, monitoring the Main Gym, Ed Wright Practice Facility, Dance Studio and Jogging Track during ‘open rec’ hours.
Can you tell me more about the new equipment in the Alumni Arena Fitness Center?
We have seen a major change in weight lifting over the years. Students requesting and wanting to use more free weights and less machines has become the trend. Before adding the new equipment, there were 4 racks used for people to do pullups, squats, bench press, shoulder press, deadlift, and various other activities. This limited the space and made people spend a majority of their time waiting for equipment. To fix this, we doubled the amount of racks, which allowed us to maximize the space and people can still do all the activities they previously could. We also put the pull-up bars in between the racks so that people using the pull-up bars wouldn’t interfere with people lifting on the racks. We also added turf in the middle of the racks so that students could use it to push the weighted sled. New flooring was installed under the racks and we added bumper plates to our weight selection so that when students drop their weights, the floor absorbs the sound.
What is your favorite part of your career?
My favorite part of my job is interacting with the students. This is my 12th year working for the university, so I have seen many graduating classes come and go. The non-monetary value of my job is extremely fulfilling. I have attended graduations and weddings of my former students and I feel as if I have positively influenced the lives of hundreds of students that I have interacted with.
What don’t most people know about UB Recreation, but should?
How much we advocate for students. We are always making sure we can provide space and time for recreational activities for student to participate in. People should know how much we strive to provide a quality service for students to enjoy. The University at Buffalo is home to over 29,000 students and I do my best to support as many of those students as possible.
What is one reason why everyone at UB should be involved in UB Rec?
I see how far UB Recreation has come since I’ve been here. The more kids that use the spaces and facilities, the more influence we have in getting a stand-alone recreation facility. This should be a goal for the university. There should be enough time for clubs, students, athletics, the community, and groups to use the facilities throughout the year.