Temple University’s Campus Recreation has been offering a variety of nightlife activities for students who might not be partygoers.
Quan King, an operations manager at Campus Recreation, said recent programs held at Campus Rec facilities are geared toward students who would usually go home on weekends to stay on Main Campus. King said various nightlife activities have been occurring for at least 10 years.
Net Night, for example, has been held for at least 10 years to give students opportunities to play less popular sports, King said.
Students have opportunities on Friday nights to both socialize and test their skills at volleyball, table tennis and badminton.
“This gives students something to do on the weekend where no fee is involved,” King said. “This type of programming helps students become more active in their university.”
For more competitive students, who may want something more intense than Net Night, Campus Recreation also hosts the International Blue Cross Center Racquetball Tournament once every semester.
Gabrielle Labolito, an operations manager at Campus Recreation, said there has been a recent push to hold the tournament more often because of its growing popularity.
“I loved seeing everybody having a lot of fun and really getting into it at all different levels,” Labolito said. “I’ve never played racquetball before, so it was definitely interesting to see.”
When Labolito was a student working at Campus Recreation, she heard about the IBC racquetball tournament but never participated. This is the first year Labolito is an organizer of the event, and she is considering taking on the role again next year.
“We had a lot of people come out who had Rec access, which included both students and faculty,” Labolito said. “We had one girl participant, which was really great. She was definitely hardcore.”
Labolito said everyone had good sportsmanship.
“We had some people who you could tell were in the racquetball club because of their intensity and some who were just playing for the fun of it,” Labolito said. “Overall, people really looked forward to it. What else are you going to do on a Thursday night.”
On Oct. 30, Campus Recreation also held a costume party located at the rock-climbing wall at the Pearson-McGonigle gym.
“We did this event the first year that the climbing wall opened in October 2012,” said Rory Coughlin, climbing wall coordinator. “It’s something that gives students something other to do than partying or getting drunk for Halloween.”
Coughin said the costume party is one of the busiest nights at the rock wall during the semester. Both regulars and non-regulars come out in costume and climb.
“As long as they are able to safely get into the harness, they should be good to go,” Coughlin said. “We haven’t had any injuries during the party, or any normal day except for a few small ankle sprains.”
After safety is ensured, attendees are free to enjoy themselves at the wall. Coughlin said the rock climbing program hosts a variety of events similar to the costume party, like ‘80’s and ‘90’s nights three or four times a year.
Not only are Temple students invited to these events, but also other students from surrounding universities are sometimes as well. Coughlin said the rock-climbing program invited Drexel University’s rock climbing club to expand its outreach to other climbing communities.
“The costume party provides a different environment than a normal environment,” Coughlin said. “We’re trying to grow and invite more clubs to our special events in the future.”
Though Campus Recreation’s special events may seem to cater to sporty students, a laser tag event was held recently to appeal to a larger audience.
“This was an opportunity to showcase our space in the basketball courts and give students a way to enjoy themselves on the weekend,” King said. “This was our first year doing the laser tag, and we had a lot of success.”
King said the laser tag event was put together with the help of an outside company. The company helped to install inflatable structures and laser tag guns with sensors. Participants were split up into teams of ten people and played against each other in the structures.
King said he hopes students will continue to make the the most out of events at Campus Recreation.
“There was a lot of excitement and a lot of buzz at laser tag,” King said. “I think when you have activities in an urban environment that are constructive and keep people safe in the evening, students will really learn to like college life even more.”
Sienna Vance can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org