OAC offers equipment to UNA students

The UNA Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) offers free outdoor equipment checkouts for UNA students, including the tightrope trampoline hybrid “Slacklines,” kayaks and camping gear.

The OAC is located at 739 Willingham Road, at the bottom of the hill near the Student Recreation Center (SRC) and Covington Hall. It is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.

Jim Eubanks, director of the SRC and recreational sports and fitness, encourages students to take advantage of the services offered.

“Ninety-five percent of the equipment was purchased with the student allocation money,” Eubanks said. “And, as a result of that, we don’t charge anything to rent it.”

The OAC recently purchased 12 kayaks for students to rent. Students are required to have a flatbed truck or a car rack in order to rent the kayaks.

Brandon Pennington, a freshman student worker at the OAC, has many ideas on how to utilize the new kayaks.

“I would like to, next semester, have a day of the week where it’s open to students and we float the Cypress in our kayaks,” he said.

The OAC also has a program component and an Outdoor Adventure Club, though both are relatively dormant at the moment. The program had regularly-scheduled trips and weekly visits to the rappelling tower, though no one is currently in charge of the program. The Outdoor Adventure Club allows students to plan trips they are interested in, though the club is currently not planning anything.

“If we get more involvement with members of the club, I think our club will keep growing,” Eubanks said.

Many students who use the OAC find the experience to be pleasant. Ashley Wills, a senior, found the center helpful when planning a camping trip.

“Well, my friends and I decided that it would be fun to go camping—only we had never been camping before,” Wills said. “So we went to the (OAC), and we asked them if they had things we could use to go camping, where to go camping and what you have to know about camping before you go camping. They were very nice, and it was really easy to rent stuff from them.”

However, some students do not know where the OAC is located.

“We had to go and find someone in some office in the GUC who could give us a map and show us where it was,” Wills said.

While the OAC has hosted concerts in the past to bring awareness to the center, Pennington said the center could promote itself better.

“They’re supposed to be bringing SOAR groups through here in the future, and that will help out a lot,” he said.

OAC officials plan to expand the services offered. Eubanks said he would like to offer bike, canoe and fishing pole rentals in the future, though storage space would become a problem with the larger items.

“We’re here for the students, and we want to make sure that they take advantage of things that we offer, because everybody pays the fee,” Eubanks said. “We thrive on being around college students and helping them find things that they like to do and developing a better lifestyle.”