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Student Rec Center Hosts Gorilla Bash to welcome students back to PSU

Owen Hague and Weston Friedrich win a couple of games of cornhole during the Gorilla Bash on Saturday night. The students that attended the Gorilla Bash had lots of games to chose from, cornhole was a popular choice. Libby Davis

Since move-in weekend, Pittsburg State has been busy hosting events that welcome it’s students back to school. However, students got welcomed back in style.

From 6-8pm on Saturday, August 15th, Student Success Programs and the Campus Activities Center cosponsored the annual welcome-back event, The Gorilla Bash, in the Student Recreation Center. Hundreds of students made an appearance, most of which were first-year students and their resident assistants. 

The Student Recreation Center took this opportunity to showcase a wide variety of campus resources to new and returning students. There were friendly games of volleyball, badminton, pickleball, cornhole, and table tennis being played on the first floor; and an informational video advertising the Student Recreation Center’s group fitness classes on the second. With over 150 pizzas being served in the back gym which, to clarify, is not a normal amenity.

“The goal of the get together is to help students meet that cohort of friends and acquaintances who they can build relationships with, have fun with, and study with. This is a place for health, physical fitness, stress reduction, and fun,” said Heather Eckstein, director of student success programs. 

Vince Diano, the director of the Student Recreation Center, said that hosting the Gorilla Bash at the campus rec is as beneficial to the Student Recreation Center as it is the new students.

“We’re one of the few college recreation centers that is three-fourths of a mile away from campus,” Diano said. “We had to find a way to get freshmen out here so they can get a taste of where the facility is and what we have to offer.” 

The Student Recreation Center decorated their front sidewalk with information tables about its club sports opportunities for all of the student’s filing in to see. Though it’s been a slow start because of COVID-19 delays, Pittsburg State offers club golf, baseball, men and women’s rugby, and women’s volleyball. 

“Club sports can bring students to campus who want to play sports competitively but aren’t good enough for varsity or don’t want the varsity intensive workload,” Diano explains. “We are focusing on the sports we can support with our facilities, because we don’t have the budget to support them financially, the lower enrollment rate directly affects us since we’re 100-percent student funded.”

“I had 26 guys sign up! This has been a great event for us. All we need now for recruiting is a national trophy,” said Owen Gray, president of Pitt State’s Men’s Club Rugby. 

After a couple of hours of pizza eating, game playing, prize winning, and people meeting, attendees started to find their way back to their new dorm rooms.

“We played ping-pong and walked the track,” Chas Kneisler, a freshman, summed up the event while standing among his friends. “There’s a lot of people here, and the rec center is pretty nice!” 

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