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Southside Pride’s free skating event brings throngs of students

// Photo by Christina Becker
Freshman Zack Loomer removes freshman Bre Mills’s boot at the South Side Pride ice skating event on Saturday, April 11, at the Bellingham Sportsplex. // Photo by Christina Becker

Southside Pride provided a fresh start to spring quarter with free ice-skating at the Bellingham Sportsplex. Students from the south campus community enjoyed free rentals, skating and transportation to and from the Sportsplex at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 11.

Southside Pride is an initiative that residents of Birnam Wood, Fairhaven Complex and Buchanan Towers may take part in to represent their residence halls through the events the group organizes. The committee is responsible for organizing social events that aim to bring the south campus community together.

The ice-skating event is Southside Pride’s first event for spring quarter.

“We were bouncing around ideas for this in winter quarter,” Western student Joel Jordan said. “But we didn’t have time to do it [then].”

Jordan is one of the members of Southside Pride, and a resident advisor in Buchanan Towers.

“We were able to kick [spring quarter] off to a good start,” Jordan said.

The turnout during the first two hours came close to 80 skaters who skated around the rink. The black lights and dance music provided a lively atmosphere to the variety of skating experience displayed on the rink. Some skaters supported themselves on the walls while others expertly skated on the inside track and performed pirouettes.

Around 8 p.m., a swarm of students came into the ice rink, and the people handing out skates lost count of how many skaters were on the rink. The chilliness did not stop many people from strapping on skates and taking to the ice.

Leia Stuber, 19-year-old psychology major, learned about the event through an information board on the first floor of Buchanan Towers. When asked about the peculiarity of ice-skating in the spring, she saw the event as a fitting way to begin the quarter.

“I’m from Hawaii, so it’s cool,” Stuber said.

Stuber never gets to skate at home, so ice skating is appropriate any time of year, she said.

While the event was planned for winter quarter, the idea had only been settled in the Southside Pride committee toward the end of February. They decided to move it to the next quarter, thus starting it off with what might be considered a winter activity.

Alicia Duncombe, a resident advisor for the Southside committee, was pleased with the overall atmosphere and attendance.

// Photo by Christina Becker
South Campus residents lace up their skates for the South Side Pride ice skating event on Saturday, April 11, at the Bellingham Sportsplex. // Photo by Christina Becker

“I think it’s a fantastic event, I’m really thrilled with how it turned out,” Duncombe said. “I think this is actually one of the more well-attended events that we’ve had.”

As the committee organizes events like this, it also takes care of hall council retreats and planning the Southside Pride event calendar for the south campus community.

While it’s one of the smaller residence hall committees, they try to take part in community life as they did last year with the Paint the Tunnel Project on the south side of Western’s campus, Jordan said.

Every hour or so, resident advisors would interrupt the counterclockwise skating traffic to announce that a shuttle was available for students to return to campus. But because the free skating was available until late at night, most skaters returned to practicing their ice rink skills and enjoyed the last winter activity of the year.

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