Bell Tower gets rink for a night

Students braved a cold night last Thursday for some improvised ice skating at the centerpoint of Main Campus.

The Main Campus Program Board is known for planning and executing many special events here at Temple. Still, when the MCPB announced it was holding an ice skating event at the Bell Tower, many students were anxious to see exactly how the organization would pull it off.

“I came out here because I really wanted to see what they would use for the ice and how big it would be,” junior education major Kamille Guinn said.

The free event took place last Thursday in front of the Bell Tower and lasted from 6 p.m. to about 10:30 p.m. Skates were provided for students, but before they could start skating, they had to sign a waiver. Then, it was onto the ice.

Students could choose to have their pictures taken on the rink. Once printed, the photographers placed the pictures inside snow globes that MCPB gave out as free souvenirs.

Though the ice-skating rink wasn’t very big, measuring only 30 feet long and 40 feet wide, that didn’t stop students from enjoying themselves.

“I heard about this earlier, and it seemed like a good idea. I didn’t think it was going to be this small, but it’s cool,” said undeclared sophomore Ian Tarrach, who brought his own skates.

It turns out the “ice” used for the skating wasn’t ice at all. Many students – even experienced skaters like Tarrach, who’s been playing hockey for 12 years – found themselves slipping and falling a couple times.

“The skating was very hard. It was a lot of fun, but it was very difficult to go for more than a couple of seconds since it’s not ice,” senior psychology major Steve Lucas said.

“The ice is actually made out of non-bound, compressed plastic panels and is lubricated with water-based, environmental-friendly, non-toxic lubricant,” said Willie Northen, an employee of Spintacular Entertainment. The Asheville, N.C. company serviced the event.

To put the rink together, Northen and his co-workers had to fit the panels together like a jigsaw puzzle. Some students complained that a few of the panels were rising up and the plastic was not slippery enough. The majority of students who skated had a good time, racing each other and performing tricks to impress the crowd.

Latoya Allen was among the many who didn’t skate but attended the event to enjoy the atmosphere.
The junior journalism major went to support MCPB and said she didn’t skate because she didn’t know how and did not want to embarrass herself.

“It looks like a pretty good event, though. If I knew how to skate, I would definitely be out there,” Allen said.

To keep the crowd from freezing in the 37-degree weather, MCPB provided hot chocolate.

Kyle Mimms, a junior entrepreneurship major and member of MCPB’s on-campus events committee, said planning for the ice-skating event began last semester.

The group’s adviser Jacinta Avery passed the idea onto them, he said.

“We wanted to do something to promote diversity and attract different people than usual,” Mimms said. “We all came together and thought it was something good to bring on campus. It was something unique that no one had ever seen before.”

Christeen Vilbrun can be reached at

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