Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) hoped to put a deep freeze on pre-final anxieties last Thursday with a free ice skating event for students in the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) Plaza.
As finals approach, the rink was meant to give students a chance to relax and have some fun before going back to studying.
“We figured this event would kind of give everybody a chance to decompress and de-stress from this exhausting eight weeks of the quarter, and also just have fun with their friends,” ASI Events Outreach Student Assistant and journalism junior Samantha Pryor said.
Additionally, the event would bring holiday spirit to students, getting them excited for a few short weeks of life after finals.
“With winter quarter coming up and, more importantly, Christmas and winter break, we were really excited to bring the students an event that gave them that wintery feel,” Pryor said.
With a pair of bundled-up snowmen blowing fake snow onto skaters and milk and hot chocolate set out for the line of waiting students that stretched up Mustang Way, the event had an excitable holiday spirit.
“It was weird because it wasn’t like actual ice, and I could actually skate,” business administration junior Jackie Burggraf said. “I’m not very advanced like those people who were skating circles around me — but it was fun.”
However, it wasn’t the skating that appeared to be the highlight of the night, but the snowmen and fake snow.
“I liked the fake snow; that was my favorite part,” environmental earth science sophomore Becky Haworth said. “It felt very wintery — (it) got you in the season and ready for Christmas.”
Several students explained that skating on the faux ice was worlds away from actual ice skating, which made it difficult to fully enjoy.
“It’s just harder,” history sophomore Tibo Smolders said. “Because you have this idea in your mind of what ice skating is like and you have to throw it out of the window.”
The skating rink — which could hold approximately 30 people at a time — was challenging to move on, several students said.
“It’s nice because you definitely won’t trip, since you won’t be moving,” mechanical engineering senior Nelson Lin said.
It was hard to get traction and maintain a skating motion, causing people’s feet to slide out, according to Haworth.
“I think the problem was the skates — they’re not very sharp,” communication studies senior Josi Bertling said. “You can see the people who brought their own skates were having no problem going super fast. But there’s not enough momentum with the type of floor they’re using with the skates they provide.”
Smolders, Lin and Bertling all suggested that in the future ASI consider forgoing the fake ice completely, instead creating a roller rink which allows students to move faster and with more ease. They also added that the rink didn’t utilize the space that the UU Plaza offers, and that ASI should consider expanding it so students can have more freedom of motion.
“It was definitely worth the zero dollars that I spent on it,” Bertling said.
“I kind of want my money back, actually,” Lin said.
While a few students said that they probably wouldn’t return to similar events in the future, others were mostly pleased — even if the ice rink was harder to maneuver than they expected.
“This is my first (ASI) event that I’ve ever actually been to,” Burggraf said. “It was a good experience.”