Campus Life

HPER Center Hosts Event to Increase Student Participation

HPER Center staff hosted Hype Night to increase student awareness and participation in activities provided by campus recreation, and the event drew more students than originally anticipated.

Assistant Director of Campus Outdoor Pursuits and Activities (COPA) Anthony Fillippino said Hype Night was primarily targeted to freshmen, although graduate student and Hype Night staff member Carolina Rivadero said participants were a “mix” of students.

Activities were spread across the HPER Center. Games of dodgeball, knockout and an obstacle course were offered on the crowded, noisy basketball court.
Kayak and canoe demonstrations by COPA worker senior Branden Blume were held in the comparatively calm pool. Near the HPER Center’s entrance, a motion cage workout was given to groups of five.
Organizers constructed a display of COPA equipment available to students to check out. Sophomore Dani Peterson, who handed out COPA fliers at the display, said there was a lot of interest in COPA activities and equipment, which many students aren’t aware is available.
Students who participated in certain activities were awarded stickers, which could be redeemed for a hat, T-shirt or towel, depending on the activity. Dodgeball saw the most participants, and hats ran out by 11 p.m.
Students not only participated, they came together as teams. Dodgeball teams emerged from friends and complete strangers, freshmen and upperclassmen alike. Cheers could be heard for every participant who attempted the obstacle course, and encouragement was perhaps loudest for participants with little-to-no athletic ability. Not only were the courts filled with players, the bleachers were filled with onlookers, cheering for people they hardly knew.
As hip-hop played on the speakers, students danced and sang along. The music was so popularthat good-natured “boos” were heard from all over the court when the DJ’s phone went off mid-song (three separate times).
Activities on the basketball court and the motion cage workout were popular throughout the event. Participation was not evenly distributed, however. The COPA kayak and canoe demonstrations saw little traffic.
When battleship, a canoe game where players try to sink their opponents, started in the pool around 11 p.m., only about 15 people showed up to watch or participate.
HPER Supervisor Chris Taylor is confident that Hype Night did as intended: increase interest in campus recreation. Most of the students who participated in the activities weren’t regularly gym rats, but Taylor said he felt students who attended are more likely to engage in campus recreation activities.
COPA, which stands for Campus Outdoor Pursuits and Activities, offers a range of equipment, from tents and sleeping bags to canoes, bikes and propane stoves, free for students to check out.
COPA also hosts seminars on bike repair, kayaking and backpacking, and provides information about the best places to pursue these activities. Classes range in skill level from beginner to advanced.

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