By Quinton R. Arthur
On Jan. 27, Roosevelt University hosted the first basketball tailgate in support of the men and women’s basketball teams. The event was held in the Wabash Dining Center.
The tailgate was open to various members of the university. Free popcorn was provided and games were set up so students can rally behind the Lakers basketball team. Large-scale Jenga, beanbags and other games were set up, inspiring some fun amongst students and staff alike.
One issue the university faces is to get more students involved in community events, like the tailgate. Due to the status of RU as a commuter campus, students frequently transition through the university without fully taking advantage of all Roosevelt has to offer. Many students came to this event, excited about doing something different.
Transfer student Jaton Jackson feels the tailgate was a new way to solve an old problem.
“At Roosevelt, we don’t have a traditional campus, so it’s hard to get students to participate in events like this,” says Jackson. “Doing things like this is a creative way to spark up university engagement outside of academics.”
Students and staff seemed to enjoy the event, accompanied by a special guest of honor. The unofficial mascot of the university, “Wavy,” was seen, which motivated students to get excited about the upcoming games later that night against St. Ambrose University.
Steve Hoselton, Associate Vice President of Campus Planning and Operations, helped organize the event and other similar events.
“Our goal is to get 300 people to the games tonight,” Hoselton stated. “If we can do that, we succeeded.”
Hoselton oversees an organization named WOW, which plans events to get the same reaction out of university students. The organization is responsible for putting building blocks in the dining center as stress relief for the students.
For the spring semester, the organization wants to do a March Madness chili cook-off competition and an end of the year breakfast banquet.
“Putting on these events is how we build a sense of community,” says Hoselton.