While Eastern’s campus is (hopefully) saying its final goodbyes to colder weather, the Student Activities Board (SAB) hosted an “Ice Skating Neon Night” event on March 13th for students to enjoy ice skating, music, and time with friends.
The event took place during a rather cold period of the day, giving attendees a last taste of winter as they embarked on a final winter-themed activity. SAB advertised the event stating, “Show off or slip up, we won’t judge,” SAB stated. Taking place in the Fowler parking lot, the event featured a square sheet of ice covered a portion of the parking lot for attendees to skate on.
Attendees of varying expertise in ice-skating were given the opportunity to navigate the ice as they wished, for all attendees were provided with ice skates to borrow throughout the event. The miniature ice-skating rink was surrounded by chairs and gates to ensure that attendees were able to have a safe experience.
Although social distancing and masks were worn amongst skaters, the sense of community was clearly present as friends laughed and playfully teased one another’s stumbles on the ice. The Fowler parking lot echoed with the music of chatter and laughter as individuals of differing levels of expertise entered the rink. More experienced skaters mainly took up the center of the rink as they swirled around effortlessly.
On the other hand, less experienced skaters typically stayed on the margins of the rink, often holding onto the gates for support. However, as the event continued, less experienced skaters grew more confident, causing many to join the more experienced skaters at the center of the rink.
For some, ice skating involved grace and speed; for others, ice skating involved inelegance and stumbling. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful sight to watch skaters come together and embed their unique imprints into the ice. Creating cursive as ice skate blades carved into the ice, skaters chiseled the joy they experienced into the rink — transforming the rink into a metaphorical canvas of abstract-like art.
In addition to the community atmosphere that was present, this event also gave attendees the opportunity to focus on the moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has appropriately been a topic of interest within many conversations; therefore, it was refreshing to be preoccupied instead with maintaining balance and moving forward on the ice. In being engaged in an activity that requires focus, this gave attendees the opportunity to be momentarily distracted from other stressors that they may be experiencing. Instead, attendees were able to focus on gliding (and sometimes falling perhaps) on the cool surface below their skates.
As the “Ice Skating Neon Night” event came to a close, the music slowly grew faint and skates were traded in for sneakers. Similar to other SAB-sponsored events, SAB made sure that this event was safe, fun, and memorable for all students. The hard work of SAB members certainly created an event for many students to enjoy. Hence, a huge thank you goes out to SAB for dedicating time and resources in order to ensure that students had a memorable weekend.