Connor Van Hulzen – Staff Writer
Last week Tuesday, the Dordt community gathered in the Rec Center to play plinko, bean bag toss and knock-out; race through an inflatable obstacle course; and take part in a raffle for an assortment of items including a set of pots and pans, a basketball hoop, a PlayStation 4, an Xbox One and multiple TVs.
All this was put together by Dordt Dining Services at an event called Hoops Happening.
“Dordt has a partnership with Pepsi, who gives the Dining Services a certain amount of money which is meant to be used for a marketing event,” Dordt Dining’s Catering Manager Mindi Sneller said. Hoops is that marketing event for Dordt.
“We do Hoops because we really want to give back to the students at Dordt,” Sneller said. “Without the students, none of us in the Dining Services would be here and have the opportunities we do to serve this wonderful community.”
To help with the food service at Hoops, the Commons was closed for the night. Carnival-themed food was aplenty, with cotton candy, sliders and mini corn dogs being served.
“We’ve learned over the years what the students want, so we make sure to give out lots of prizes, like the pop and candy,” Sneller said. The addition of hula hoop competitions and male and female knock-out games are examples of things that came from student input.
As an extra incentive, the winners of the knock-out competitions were rewarded with 32-inch TVs. Senior Carly Tillema won the female knock-out competition, and junior Ben Heuvelhorst won the male competition.
“We look forward to it every year because it’s pretty outside of our normal way of operating,” Sneller said. “We choose February because Hoops is a fun celebration during a time that most often isn’t too fun due to snow and the cold.”
Between the raffles, the knock-out competition, the carnival food and the other carnival games, Hoops gave students a fun way to spend the night and brought some needed energy to campus in one of the dreariest times of year.
“It was a pretty great night. I didn’t go in with high expectations, but I came out of it with a great time,” freshman Dylan Ash said. “The whole thing was fun, especially the obstacle course.”