UNA UPC secures funds for ice rink, month of events

Children enjoy an artificial rink from Artificial Ice Events in Orlando, Florida. The two-day artificial rink coming to UNA will cost about $14,000, said Vice President of University Program Council Adam McCollum.

The University Program Council hopes to break up the winter monotony this semester with a series of new events on campus.

Snow Daze is a month of events during the end of January and early February, said Vice President of UPC Adam McCollum. The events include a Registered Student Organization fair, community service day, ice skating rink and formal dance.

“The whole idea behind it was that people are miserable in the winter,” McCollum said. “Like now, it’s just a ‘blah’ time. We wanted to have an action-packed month of events that got people fired up to be (on campus).”

Amanda Areostatico said UPC wanted to give UNA students a chance to join RSOs, give back to the community and enjoy something fun and “get fancy.”

The Big Chill, an RSO fair similar to the Big Deal, will kick off Snow Daze Jan. 28 in the Guillot University Center banquet halls.

McCollum said this is the first time UPC has held an RSO fair during the spring semester. The event will help transfer students, or students starting during the spring semester, learn about organizations they can get involved in on campus, he said.

Despite many questions and financial concerns, UPC was able to fund a temporary ice rink on campus. The rink will be open Feb. 12 and 13 to both students and community members. Students receive free admission with a Mane Card, and community members pay $5.

Artificial Ice Events will provide skates for the two-day event.

McCollum said the rink will either be in Lot K behind the GUC or in Lot B in front of The Commons.

“All the events excite me, but I can’t wait for the ice rink to be on campus for a couple days,” Areostatico said.

Originally, UPC planned to raise funds to pay for the rink but found additional funds in the budget to cover the $14,000 needed for the event.

“We ended up figuring out that we had an extra $25,000 in our budget,” McCollum said. “It came directly from the increase in students. We really want to push that this wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t have the increase in enrollment.

“The university has been pushing that we get more students. It paid off for us.”

For those interested in community service, UPC is holding a service day Jan. 30. Students can serve at a soup kitchen or at the Florence-Lauderdale County Animal Control Shelter on Tennessee Street.

“Those are two things we’re wanting to do to give the students an opportunity to give back,” he said.

The event begins at 8:45 a.m. in the parking lot behind the GUC, McCollum said. He said all students have to do is show up ready to work. No registration is required.

For students who want to dance the night away, the final Snow Daze event is the Snow Ball, a semi-formal dance open to all students.

“We just wanted to give students the opportunity to do something even if they’re not Greek,” he said. “We wanted to open up a formal that is open for every student to come with a date or without one.”

Admission and food are free, McCollum said.

Areostatico said she hopes UPC will use the Snow Daze plan as a guideline for future UPC events.

“The purpose (of Snow Daze) is to get students excited about the semester and enjoy being a part of this great university,” she said.