Panther Portrait: BSU Skate Party

SOFIA LEGASPI, Campus Life Editor

Hundreds of people laced up their roller skates on Friday evening, Feb. 15, for a skate party hosted by UNI’s Black Student Union (BSU) and Hawkeye Community College.

Skaters decked out 1999-2000s fashion glided around the lower basketball courts of the Wellness and Recreation Center (WRC) to music from the era.

Free and open to the public, the event attracted several families and children as well as college students. Roller skates were provided for feet as small as size one.

“It’s just a way to invite the community to experience Black History Month and fun by having music, black cultural music,” said BSU member Jameka Mosley, a third-year student double majoring in sociology and anthropology. “It’s just a really fun event. Everybody tends to come; this is probably one of our best events, to be honest.”

Although BSU has hosted several skate parties in the past, this was their first year partnering with Hawkeye Community College.

With two different schools and communities coming together, attendance skyrocketed. Moseley said she was not expecting so many people to come.

At certain points in the evening, the check-in line snaked across the WRC lower level, up the stairs and past the front desk. UNI students Hayden Comstock and Natalie Newhard said they waited in line for about 25 minutes.

“Definitely worth the wait!” said Newhard, a freshman majoring in elementary education. “There was fun music, lots of upbeat people and plenty of room for roller skaters of all skill levels.”

Due to a limited number of roller skates, people were limited to about 15 minutes of skating during the busiest portions of the evening, according to Lizzie Hill, a UNI freshman double majoring in leisure, youth and human services and theatre performance who attended the event.

Comstock, a freshman deciding major, said the large crowd didn’t stop her from enjoying herself.

“The crowd control was amazing,” she said. “When I saw the line, I thought for sure it was gonna be packed and difficult to skate. The people in line were respectful and those running the event were amazing.”

Friday night’s skate party was one of several Black History Month events organized by BSU. Their upcoming events include “All About the Business” at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18 in the Maucker Union Ballroom and “Tunnel of Oppression” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Lang Hall basement classrooms.