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Slacklining event aims to increase student engagement with Outdoor Program

The Outdoor Program staff organized a Slack and Slice event aimed at getting students interested in what the program offers on Sep. 13 by the bouldering wall outside Bassis Student Center, according to Alicia Mache, a sophomore undeclared major.

“[The motivation for this event] was to get people outside and doing something fun: slacklining, trying something new and just meeting new people,” Mache said. 

Slacklining entails “balancing on a 2 to 5 centimeter wide piece of webbing made from synthetic fibers, which is rigged between to fixed points, often trees,” according to the International Slackline Association.

Slacklines are used as a balance training aid in competitive sports, as fitness equipment or in physiotherapy, according to the ISA. The activity is also a type of  creative performance and is a tool for enriching public spaces, according to the ISA

Jacob Lyons, a sophomore environmental studies major, balances on a slackline as Alicia Mache, a sophomore undeclared major, watches from the side during the Slack and Slice event hosted by the Outdoor Program on Sept. 13 outside Bassis Student Center. “[The motivation for this event] was to get people outside and doing something fun: slacklining, trying something new and just meeting new people,” Mache said. Photo courtesy of Ella Cheminant. Image description: A line of red synthetic fibers woven together stretches from the top of the frame to the bottom. The camera is angled at a low position, capturing a person with their arms out in the air for balance as they walk across the woven fibers outside.

“[Slack and Slice] was Izzy Allen’s baby, she loves slacklining and it’s just a great way to get people hanging out and talking about the Outdoor Program,” said Paris Pratt, a senior environmental studies and outdoor education major. 

Kiva Call-Feit, a junior psychology major and Outdoor Program member, said events like Slack and Slice are exciting to put on because students can stop by and learn what it’s about.

“I think my overall hope is that [Slack and Slice] will get some publicity for the [Outdoor Program] and people [will] realize it’s a really cool resource on campus,” Call-Feit said. “I think a campus-based event is a good way to do that and get the word out.”

Call-Feit said some first-year students have become more involved with the Outdoor Program after embarking on the Outdoor Experience trip this year. The Outdoor Experience occurs before New Student Orientation and is designed to “facilitate a more positive transition to college” through building community and connecting first-years with the Outdoor Program, according to the Outdoor Experience webpage.

At Slack and Slice, the Outdoor Program posted other engagement opportunities to advertise their future activities and boost the attendance for those events, according to Paris Pratt, a senior environmental studies and outdoor education major. 

“I think it’s successful,” Pratt said. “Usually we’ll get one or two trip signups from events, which is awesome.”

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Ella Cheminant majors in communication at Westminster University. She plays on the women’s lacrosse team, so when she isn’t busy doing assignments for class she’s practicing on the field and working on her skills. Some of her passions are staying active or resting.

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