Summer might technically be over, but the Texas weather doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. 

Despite the heat, many students gathered at the Children’s Health StarCenter ice rink on Friday in Euless to meet new people, play board games and skate.

This event was the first of two set to be hosted this semester by the New Maverick Orientation department, called the Off-Campus Mavericks in Your Neighborhood, said David Duvall, New Maverick Orientation director.  

Duvall said the Off-Campus Mavericks in Your Neighborhood program was designed to help connect UTA’s commuter students to the campus in a different way than normal.

“Traditionally, we expect all of our students to come and participate in UTA events here on campus, and oftentimes that can be challenging for our commuter students,” Duvall said.

Starting in spring 2019, the goal of the program was to provide those students with off-campus events in a nearby community at least twice a semester, Duvall said.

He said ice skating was something the group hadn’t done yet, and since it was something available in the Euless area, it seemed like a fun thing for people to do.

“Whether you know how to ice skate or not, it's always fun to get out there and try,” Duvall said.

The event attracted many Mavericks, who live both on and off campus, and some students brought family members as well.

The event also appealed to friend groups, like architecture freshmen Keith Mekush, Cinny Zhao, and Shaeeka Thapa.

For Thapa, ice skating was very different from roller skating. As for Zhao, although she said she’s been skating a couple times, she’s no pro.

Mekush said one thing that appealed to him about ice skating was the buildable speed.

“You get to go fast, but it’s not like running, so it's not as tiring,” Mekush said. “And you get to feel the cool air flow through you. It’s fun. Especially, when you get up to speed.”

For Trevor Koller, aerospace engineering graduate student, the event was a chance to meet new people outside of his own sphere.  

“I spend a lot of time around Woolf Hall and a lot of the engineering buildings,” Koller said. “I just wanted to meet people from different degrees and different disciplines and different backgrounds.”

Unlike Thapa, Koller said he thinks roller blading and ice skating do share similarities.

Koller did inline hockey in high school, and although it’s been a long time, he said the movements are the same.

“It’s slightly different, but the principle’s the same, where you just push off with your feet,” Koller said. “It’s more slick, but it’s the same body motion.”

Koller said he came to the event to meet people and because ice skating is the “antithesis of Texas.”

“It's 99 degrees outside, and yet, [we're] skating on ice,” Koller said.

Koller said he loves snow, skiing and snowboarding, but as someone who’s lived his entire life in Texas, he doesn’t get to do those activities often.

“I like the cold when you get a chance to do a sport in it, and so this is a rare treat for me,” Koller said. “It’s so unique and different.”



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