Successfull planning sees increase in attendance, events to attract students
By Davis Hill
On Sept. 18, EWU Campus Recreation hosted their annual “REC-splosion” event in the URC. The event, which promotes many campus organizations, spotlights Campus Recreation and the URC.
Participatants included EWU Intramurals, Health, Wellness and Prevention, EWU Climbing Club, EPIC, and Greek Life. REC-splosion also featured a live disc jockey, dance floor, a mechanical bull, open skate, broom hockey, laser tag, and two new eating competitions: hot dogs and hot wings.
Prior to the hot wing competition, freshman Amanda Alley said, “I just want to shove it all down. … I won’t even chew it.”
Hot wing contestants were provided with milk and water but were not allowed to drink anything until all of wings were chewed, swallowed and kept down for five minutes.
Competition winner Axell Gutierrez smiled through a tear-filled grimace as his name was called at the end.
“[I was] stoked,” he said afterward. “It was awesome.” Wiping his eyes, he added, “On the third wing, my face started to shake. I did it for the rugby team.”
Freshmen Michael Mendoza and Aubrey Blad were enjoying the mechanical bull corral. Both said they were impressed with the friendly atmosphere and sense of community.
“Lots of friendly faces,” said Mendoza. “No one is, like, giving you dirty looks from the corner or anything.” Blad, agreeing, noted that he likes the high energy and clean fun.
Freshman Nick Allen came to see the various clubs and activities. “This is a lot better than similar events in high school,” he said. “More to do … and they actually have good food. More jumpin’ and jivin’.”
Naveen Yaseen and Marvi Soomro, two exchange students from Pakistan, were especially excited about DJ Frezko. “I feel at home because everyone is so friendly and nice here,” Yaseen said.
“[Marvi] feels sad that she will be back home after this quarter.” Soomro added, “I’m loving the experience. It’s fun to see all these energetic people.”
REC-splosion was inspired by the University of California-Berkeley’s “Cal-Topia,” which drew 10,000 students yearly.
Rick Scott, Club Sports coordinator, said, “[We’re] trying to do different things to bring students in. … For example, we have the music that is playing across campus. That … gets them interested in what is going on.”
The eating contests were modeled afer shows like Man vs Food as another way to attract students. According to Scott, this year’s REC-Splosion drew more than 2,000 students.
When asked about the different offerings during REC-splosion, Scott said, “[We’re] not just trying to get people who are in intramural sports, or club sports, or EPIC
, [but also] students who want to ice skate, or climb, or use the fitness center. All these students are different, and they like to do different things. … [We want] to keep these kids here and having fun.”
The goal is to continually attract more and more students every year, Scott said. This effort has so far been successful since REC-splosion has seen a yearly increase in attendance numbers.
Mike Campitelli, director of Campus Recreation, summed Scott’s efforts as a service to the university: “[We’ve] got bigger and better plans for [REC-Splosion]. “Rick’s taking it to a whole new level.”
Photo courtesy of Evan Sykes