Students tangled up at Spring Jam gig

by Sean Madigan

With their right hands on green and left feet on yellow, students shed their shoes and socks and tied themselves into knots Thursday on Coffman Union Plaza.
Event organizers pieced 12 Twister mats together, making three giant playing areas. They had to contend with low participation and high winds during the Spring Jam week contest.
Students on their way to classes stopped by to get tangled up in the event sponsored by the Variety Events Committee, a part of the Coffman Union Program Council. Participants who managed to weave hand and foot to the proper colored circles and still maintain balance won water bottles and mouse pads.
Radio K was on hand to spin the colored dial and emcee the game. The campus radio station also spun records to liven up the two-hour event.
Institute of Technology freshman Jeff Ginkel stopped by after seeing the mats sprawled on the lawn. Despite having never played before, he gave it a go. Ginkel and his friend Asif Siddiq were eliminated right away. Students had a hard time resisting the temptation to avoid their classes on the warm sunny spring day.
“We are supposed to be in math recitation, but, oh well,” said Siddiq, also an IT freshman.
Siddiq said he had a good time despite falling a few moves into the game. For the most part, spectators outnumbered those who got wrapped up in the game.
The fact that the few people who did participate had fun made the event a success, said Ann Le, a member of the program council.
“It’s a big school,” said Vindya Alahapperuma, an IT junior and a coordinator of the Twister event. “All of these people just sit out in the Mall, alone; we hope these events will provide a way for them to meet one another.”
That’s part of the mission of the program council, which Le said encourages dialogue among faculty, students, administrators and cultural organizations.
Milton Bradley donates Twister mats and spinners to high schools and colleges for events to promote the game. The Variety Events Committee received 15 mats; the wind kept organizers from putting all them out.
Rae Eden ran some errands on campus with her 3-year-old daughter Brianna when she came across the event. Since becoming a mother, Eden said she has had to learn to play like a child.
“I think it is great to watch adults playing games,” Eden said. Brianna had a difficult time making the long stretch from yellow to blue, but her smile never faded.