The Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Resident Hall Association (RHA) provided free bowling for two hours to a near total of 100 residents from Goshen, Brandywine, Allegheny and University Hall this past Thursday night. Each of the residence halls was able to take the first 25 residents that signed up to go bowling at the Palace in Downingtown. DPS rented out one side of the bowling alley using budget money from the state and the rest of the cost came from the RHA budget’s of the residence halls that participated.

“U-hall’s RHA was glad to be one of the many sponsors of the event,” Nicole Dombrowski, a member of the board, said. She is a fourth-year student majoring in elementary and special education. “It was a really great time. We were very pleased with the turnout.”

Christine Mackin, president of RHA for Brandywine Hall, said the Resident Director presented that DPS wanted to take hall residents bowling. The members of her board agreed to help cover the costs of the event for their residents to attend at no cost. RHA members from Goshen and Allegheny Hall also agreed.

“We like to collaborate with outside organizations,” Mackin said, a first-year student majoring in communication studies. “We have our own hall socials too and we like to have our students get educational information, along with having fun.”

Mackin and her board members have another upcoming informational event on April 6. They will be having an open panel with the health center. The panel will consist of first-year students discussing their health as they transitioned into college.

The informational event, held by DPS, is an “alcohol-free alternative” event, said Lt. Ray Stevenson. Officer Dan Irons, one of the community police officers for DPS, hosted the event. Prior to leaving for the bowling trip, Irons gave a safety talk on alcohol awareness, in which he includes several real stories that occurred on campus.

Dombrowski said Irons gave an “enlightening pep talk.”

Irons began his safety talk by discussing the affects of alcohol and what would happen if someone who was drinking was stopped by a Public Safety officer. His speech ranged in sections of underage drinking and citations to consequences. He said college holds the most four important years of your life, academically and legally.

Irons next discussed ways students can protect themselves. He told the students to cover their drinks and be aware of their surroundings. In residence halls, he emphasized the importance of locking the room doors to prevent theft.

Throughout his speech, Irons asked the students if they had any questions. This allows for the students to clarify any unanswered questions they may have. Irons said this gives the students an opportunity to find out information on what officers of Public Safety do, or if they want to know what happens if they get cited for an underage, or so on.

After the safety talk, the students were bused to the bowling alley, chatting with friends on the way.

“I love bowling and it’s free,” Nick Adams said. “I decided to come out with friends from my [residence] floor and instead of hanging in the lobby, we’re hanging here.”

Dan O’Connor, a friend with Adams, said, “I came [to the event] because I always see Public Safety in the dorms. You see police in uniform and a security guard at the [front] desk.”

O’Connor explained that he thinks it’s nice to be out with an officer from DPS as it shows students that they are “real people too.”

Adams, a first-year student majoring in athletic training and O’Connor, a first-year student majoring in secondary math education, were joined by a handful of friends. The group resides in Goshen Hall, where they said they socialize on their floor lobby on a typical weekday night.

“It’s really cool, we can approach [officer Irons] at the alley. When we see him on campus, we can say hi,” O’Connor said. “It’s nice seeing Irons hanging out.”

For many students, it was a chance to get off campus and to have a fun night with their friends.

“I signed my friends up and told them they were coming with me,” Jaime Resch, a first-year student majoring in English education, said.

Resch came with ten other friends from Goshen Hall. Among the group was runner up to Mr. WCU, Chris Conway. Given this title the night before the trip to the bowling alley, he said he would like to see more campus involvement as a community.

“We call each other ‘the family’ and we try to go to all the events in Goshen together,” said Conway. “We try to hang-out as much as possible.”

Many students among the group added that they wanted to go to the event for free bowling and free food. Free transportation was also provided.

The bus ride home included students on both buses singing various songs including Disney songs and West Chester University- related songs. Both groups sang the WCU fight song.

“I really liked coming home on the bus ride,” Rich Miller, the Graduate Assistant for Brandywine Hall said about the singing on the bus ride. “It really connects people with school spirit. All the [residents from the] dorms merged together. Coming back, everyone had a good time and we need more of this on campus.”

Miller helped coordinate the purple pants crew in which he said “every single one of” the students at the bowling event has the “kind of spirit” that he would like to see at football games.

DPS has an upcoming alcohol free alternative event for the residents of Tyson and McCarthy Hall. The residents are going to Putt-Putt miniature golf from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m on March 31. Officer Irons will discuss alcohol awareness one hour prior to the event.

Ginger Rae Dunbar is a fourth year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at RD655287@wcupa.edu.

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