Night Games: A Special Event Every Time

The new recreation center is a great place to go work out but that’s not the only thing it offers. Night Games is free and open to the public. Some various activities they offer consist of rock climbing, dodgeball, swimming, basketball, badminton, volleyball, racquetball and special events. So instead of sitting around this weekend, get active and go to Night Games for a different night time activity.

Giving Students What They Like

Night Games is a student driven organization committed to providing leadership opportunities for students through the planning and facilitation of a safe, late night, alcohol alternative event for the University of Iowa campus community. All the games are held from 9 pm to 1 am in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Free pizza and fresh fruit is also provided at all events.

These activities provided really do help cut down underage drinking on the weekends, giving the students an alternate activity to do instead of going downtown with friends. Students are given the chance to still be in the downtown area and enjoy great programs and activities.

“There is such a diverse set of activities that students can choose from and all of these events are presented without alcohol, so by their nature, if students are attending these events, they are not drinking during that time.” Said Bill Nelson, Director of Student Life.

With the 21 ordinance in effect now, there has been a noticeable change in the number of students who come to the activities. The weekend after the 21 ordinance was put into effect, Nelson said that over 100 people showed up to Night Games, rather than the usual 50 or so. There is an increase in the actual events that the students plan as well, student programmers are planning at least 5 times as more activities now that more people are showing an interest in them.

“I feel like the quality of the events has been stepped up this year as well, so as to respond to the 21 ordinance, and provide students with programs that will interest them and that they are willing and able to attend.” Said Nelson.

There are many marketing techniques used in order to promote Night Games to students. Some of the most productive techniques that are used include posters throughout campus, advertising on the digital screens throughout the Recreational Center, Facebook events and ads and ¾ sheet handouts. Students programmers are usually coming up with a plethora of creative techniques daily in order to catch people’s attention.  When students plan programs for their peers, they are more likely to select something that others in their peer group would be interested in.

movies shown in the pool area of the Recreational Center

“When I am planning a new event for Night Games, I think to myself, is this something my friends would be really excited to attend? If it’s not something that would interest me or any of my friends then it’s more than likely not going to attract a majority of the other students.” Said Brittany Masen, student programmer for Night Games.

Special Events

One of the many special events that Night Games offers which has become extremely popular and unique is the Scuba Diving Club. The University of Iowa Scuba Club, in conjunction with SeatoSea Watersports, and the Night Games activity board provides one free night of scuba diving each semester in the Fieldhouse’s pool.  The Night Game’s Scuba Club starts at 9 pm in the University’s Fieldhouse’s pool, and ends close to 1 am. Those interested in trying out scuba diving should show up any time after 9 pm.

“The check-in is simple. Just go check in with your Scuba Club officer when you arrive, pick up and complete the waiver and registration form, then return it to the Scuba Club officer. Go change into your swimsuit and then wait until your name is called to get ready to dive.” Said Masen.

rock climbing is another popular activity during Night Games

Once in the pool, a certified Divemaster will instruct you on how to use your basic scuba gear, and then allow you to swim in the shallow end of the pool for around 20 minutes. The Scuba Club is fairly new and slowly gaining popularity as  All you need to bring is: your waiver, signed by parent or guardian if under 18 (nobody under 10 years allowed), swimsuit and a towel. The best part is, just like every other activity at Night Games, it’s free.

One more activity that has gained a lot of liking is the movies in the swimming pool area at the Recreational Center. Students are able to enjoy the best of two very enjoyable activities, swimming and watching movies. A  T.V.  in the pool area plays a movie and students are able to sit in the hot tub or lay on their floatie while relaxing and enjoying the entertainment of a good movie at the same time.

“Going to the movies in the swimming pool is probably one of my favorite things about Night Games. It’s so relaxing to just go lounge around in the pool while watching a movie that you like. I love it.” Said Katelyn Schany, Sophmore at University of Iowa.

There is a special event at every Night Games and students enjoy switching up their nightly routine from going out with their friends and joining in on some active fun with other students. There are some upcoming events for Night Games that sound enjoyable for students of all ages. These include movies in the pool and a volleyball tournament on November 26 and the Scuba Club and Swing Dance Club on December 3. So keep those events in mind when you are deciding what to do on that specific Friday. Night Games is a student organized program, so you can guarantee it will be to your liking.

Click here to see a video I created for Night Games



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