Archived Voice Articles
Bowling, pool, or foosball, anyone?
By Julie Ooms
Several years ago when Dordt students were asked what they wanted in the new Campus Center, many requested a place where students could go to relax, have fun playing pool or foosball or other games they didn’t have much access to before, and maybe forget they had homework for a little while. The college obliged.
Today, the basement of Dordt’s new Campus Center is a full-fledged game room, equipped with three pool tables, a ping pong table, two foosball tables, a shuffleboard table, two video game machines, and four bowling lanes with automatic scoring and a wide selection of bowling balls.
The Game Room on the lower level of the Campus Center, offers students an opportunity to take a break from studying or spend a free weekend evening with friends. In addition to bowling, pool, and other recreational table games, the area has a huge selection of board games.
The game room also boasts numerous board games (which students can either play at tables in the game room or check out for a week at a time and take back to their rooms) and a small TV room with a DVD/VCR player, chairs and tables, and a counter with a sink for snack preparation.
“The game room offers students an opportunity for light entertainment and social interaction on campus,” says Student Services Director Ken Boersma. “One of its goals is to provide healthy on-campus activities students can do together.”
Before Dordt had such a facility, says Duane Mulder, the maintenance person responsible for the game room, students had to schedule four or five hours at a time to travel to bigger towns like Sioux Falls or Sioux City for entertainment. Although they still do, the game room allows students to take shorter, more spontaneous breaks, since they only need a few minutes to walk there. Plus, the activities are free.
The game room is also used for bowling intramurals and bowling classes, which students may take to fulfill their HPER (physical education) requirement. Students in bowling classes are required to bowl games several times a week. Intramural bowling teams are organized in the fall of each year and bowl in the late evenings on weekdays. These two activities contribute to the campus community both Boersma and Mulder talk about, and also make good use of the game room’s four bowling lanes, which Boersma calls “one of the unique features of Dordt College.”
The game room is open from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m., six days a week, and from 9-12 p.m. on Sundays, giving students ample time to take advantage of the facility. Dordt faculty and staff can also use the game room free of charge, and members of the Sioux Center community may use it for an admission fee. The game room is open once a week in the summer for faculty, staff, and their families to use, and on some other days during the year for general use when most of Dordt’s students are off campus.
“I think it’s a great thing to have on campus,” says sophomore Joel Westra, who works at the facility on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
“I think people should take more advantage of it, especially when the weather warms up and it isn’t as cold a walk to the campus center.” Most people who come in are regulars, Westra says—members of the HPER bowling classes or groups of friends and couples who come in to play pool or a board game. “It seems as each semester progresses students get busier and more stressed, and then they don’t come in as often,” Westra continues, “but I think the game room is a good way to relieve some of that stress and have fun with friends.”
That’s a sentiment Boersma and Mulder, and most students, would share.