Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Students enjoy open skate

Matthew Wendler

Students now have the opportunity to partake in free open ice skating at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena in the SUNY Plattsburgh Field House. Skating will be held every Wednesday in October from 2:30 to 4 p.m. For students who don’t have their own skates, a pair will be provided outside the arena doors. Students must bring their student ID card with them to gain access to the field. 

“Open skate is a great way to get students involved with other activities around campus,” Senior fitness and wellness major Kelly Degnan said.

Melissa LaMere, the director of recreation and the assistant director of athletics, is one of the main contributors who tries to get this activity set up and organized each year. 

“We try to hold it periodically in the fall and spring semesters,” LaMere said. “This program we specifically run through recreation so there’s no additional cost to students. It’s included as part of their rec fee programming.”

Last spring was the first time in a while that open skating was offered to students through recreation. The event was placed on hold for a few semesters due to fear of spreading of COVID-19. 

“These students are thankful for the opportunities we’re able to provide this semester,”

 LaMere said. “It was a long downtime for some of our programming last year, especially with the students returning.”

Student response overall for the event appears to be positive. Freshman criminal justice major Cristal Perez is thankful for the chance to partake in it.

“I’m not a very good skater,” Perez said. “Something like the open skate gives me an opportunity to get better at the skill, and it’s really fun.” 

This open skating event allows students to engage in a fun, recreational activity and connect with other participants. Students can attempt to skate around the ice and possibly learn from the experience, especially if they’ve never done it before. 

“It’s a popular activity,” LaMere said. “It’s high demand, students are interested in it, and it has a relevant ease of administration.”

One thing students seem to question is why the event is limited to only one day a week for two hours and 30 minutes. Freshman childhood special education major Emily Shirley believes it would be more convenient to others if it was instead available for a couple other days during the week. 

“Some students have classes during this time so they can’t come,” Shirley said. “It would be really nice if it was more spread out throughout the week.”

LaMere said these specific times were chosen because it is when the ice is available.

“We have to work around. Practice schedules, rental schedules, things like that. Staff scheduling too,” LaMere said.

The recreation department plans to host other outdoor and sporting events for students throughout the year.

“It’s a nice way to de-stress and hang out with friends,” Freshman psychology major Jay Smith said. “It’s fun to watch people wipeout too.” 

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