The cold and rainy weather wasn’t enough to stop Temple University’s “Skate into the New Year” as students gathered in the Howard Gittis Student Center for the chance to skate on the make-shift ice rink.
Sponsored by the Main Campus Program Board, the event was free to all Temple students. No ice rink would be complete without skate rentals), a skee-ball machine, a green screen for festive winter photos with friends, and refreshments.
Many students, both novice and experienced, took to the ice at 7:00pm on Wednesday, Feb. 5th. Within minutes, the rental bins were empty and the folding chairs were full of students exchanging their shoes for skates. From new skaters stumbling along the edges to more experienced ones swooping and spinning around the rink, everyone seemed to be enjoying the festivities.
Students crowded around the refreshments table to get cookies and hot chocolate, and friends posed for the camera in front of a green-screen in order to get photos of themselves
The biggest draw for the event was, of course, the indoor ice-skating. Rather than creating an actual ice rink in the student center, a makeshift one was created.
Tony Kerst (TK), one of the coordinators from the sponsoring organization Bass-Schuler Entertainment, explained. “It’s the same material as a cutting board. What we do is we spray it with a polymer in order to make it more slippery and ice-like.”
To add to the feel of skating in a winter wonderland, a machine that sprayed out a foam-like “snow” was added. As good as the fake rink was, it wasn’t quite perfect.
Freshman Mary Bukoski commented that, “it seems a bit strange. It’s not quite like ice.”
Even TK agreed: “I’m not going to lie to you. To someone who has been skating for years, it’s not very good. On a scale from one to ten, I would rate it at about a three. But it’s perfect for beginners.”
The plastic rink is versatile enough that practiced skaters can enjoy themselves and beginners can learn without fear of sliding too much.
It may not have been as glitzy or glamorous as some ice rinks, but it was a great way for students to have winter fun on campus. Fortunately, dozens of students took advantage of this great opportunity.
“Everyone’s scared to ice skate. It’s really not that bad though,” said MCPB co-chair Neoshie Giles. Skate into the New Year allowed students to hone their skills, and those who took a liking to it can still skate all winter at the Penn’s Landing RiverRink. Others had a very enjoyable night of free fun.