Get your skate on: Ice Arena an alternative to rec center

Darren D'Altorio

The Kent State Ice Arena is an unexplored treasure on campus. Tucked behind the DeWeese Health Center and across from Van Campen Hall on Loop Road, the Ice Arena is easily missed or completely unknown to many new students at Kent State.

It’s a great place to come freshman year as an alternative to going downtown or going to the fraternities, said Laura Russo, graduate assistant for the Ice Arena.

The Ice Arena offers a variety of activities, such as college skate night, broomball, hockey games and even beginner skating classes that count for credit hours.

The most popular activity at the Ice Arena is broomball, Russo said.

“Freshmen don’t even know what broomball is,” she said. “Broomball is when you run around the ice with your gym shoes on, with sticks that are the top part of a broom, and you hit a ball around, playing with the same rules as hockey.”

Sign-ups for broomball begin every September, and the spots go quickly. About 20 to 32 teams of 15 people compete during the season. The games are five-on-five, and two women from each team must be on the ice at all times. Starting in October, games begin at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights and go until about 2 a.m., Russo said.

“We have it set up so that it doesn’t conflict with work or school,” Russo said, “unless you have to study.”

If studying is in order, the Ice Arena is another option, aside from the library or dorm study lounge.

“We recently put in Wi-Fi,” Russo said. “It’s really quiet during the day, so if any students want to study they can bring their laptop here.”

If hunger creeps up or the brain starts to slow down during the studying process, the Ice Arena is equipped with a full snack bar and coffee menu. Burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, cappuccino, espresso and hot chocolate are some of the favorites, Russo said. Meal plans are accepted from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and FlashCash is always accepted. And the Ice Arena is the only place on campus that sells Dippin’ Dots – and you can buy it with your meal plan.

Students can sign up for beginning skating, broomball and beginning hockey classes in the physical education section of the course list on FlashLine, Russo said. These classes are covered in the cost of tuition and offer a fun departure from the monotonous book work of most classes.

Wednesday nights are college skate nights. All students with a college I.D. can skate for $1.50, and skate rental is $2.50. Also, on Friday and Saturday nights there is a skate party with disco lights and a disc jockey.

The Kent State men’s hockey team plays its games in the arena on Friday nights throughout the spring semester. Students can get in to the games free with their FlashCards.

Contact general assignment reporter Darren D’Altorio at [email protected].