Despite the Rain, 80s Themed Skating Night Rolls On at PennWest CAL

The 80s themed event was sponsored by the Supplemental Instruction (SI) and Peer Mentoring offices.


Andrew Havens

SI and Peer Mentoring’s 80s Roller Skating event.

Andrew Havens, Staff Writer

The SI and Peer Mentoring Department teamed up with Neon Entertainment on Tuesday, August 30, to bring a 1980s themed Roller Skating event to the PennWest California campus, drawing the attention of some two hundred students over the four hour timeframe. Originally planned to be held at the basketball courts outside of Hamer Hall, a steady rain forecast would shift the event into the Natali Performance Center next door, which Nicole Hiller, Director of Peer Mentoring on campus, says actually bolstered attendance. “I think it increased it actually, with all of the students heading into Natali for dinner” stated Brunner.

There was certainly no lack of participation, as a solid and steady line of students tried to find their way into a pair of skates. Hiller and Brunner were the ultimate brain trust, having planned the event in mid-July, hoping to capture the attention of prospective mentors and supplemental instructors along the way. In any case, there was never a lack of accomplished students ready to help out.

In fact, both Hiller and Brunner asserted that they have never had any issues with enrollments for either program. Hiller said, “For both of our roles, they’re all helping other students, so it’s really easy for us.”

Brunner simply sends out emails asking for SI volunteers, and gets consistent offers from a range of students. These two programs with impressive enrollments relish the opportunity to introduce themselves in an informal style, especially when informal involves era-appropriate pins and 80s attire.

Classic hits from the era reverberated off of the walls of the relatively small Performance Center, and colorful linked mats lined the floors as students, geared in the provided roller skates, made their way around in a tight circle. Some students were certainly less graceful than others, but all were seen trying and trying again to make their way around the rink, all the while snapping photos with their friends and eating as much candy as was allowed. Both Brunner and Hill could be seen beaming during the event, knowing that their mission of student involvement could only go up from there.

Students of all majors and minors gathered into the event, some watching from the sidelines while others showed off their skills. One such student was Joshua Goode, a freshman Liberal Studies major with a particular knack for roller skating. Determined to meet new people and form new connections, Goode feels events such as these really help.

Goode stated, “I talked to new people that I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t gone.” When asked about the event overall, Goode proclaimed, “It was a very good time. The music and snacks were really cool and it seemed like everyone was having fun.”

Largely a team effort, Academic Achievement Specialist and Head of Supplemental Instruction, Tyton Brunner, noted the goal is to connect students through on-campus activities, and that they will hopefully take those connections to their classrooms. Brunner stated, “It’s just trying to get the student-to-student relationship happening on campus, and to build that nice little community with each other.”

With over two hundred students coming in and out of the rink on a constant basis, the event was a resounding success for Neon Entertainment as well as SI and the Peer Mentoring program. Seeing so much participation from the student body can only be seen as a good sign with students fully returning to campus life.

Any student interested is highly recommended to reach out directly to either Brunner or Hiller via their campus email, as well as to follow their respective pages on Instagram: @pennwestmentoring and @caluvulcanssi.