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Root beer pong event is fun, educational

A root beer pong tournament took place Jan 21 in the basement of Brown Unit 2. The “Tik Tok” station on Pandora (based on the popular song by KE$HA) provided some party music for the college students and Residence Life staff members who attended the event.

Sophomore Brittany Niehoff is an RA in Brown. Back in high school she and her friends would play a version of beer pong with pop, so she decided to transfer that idea to our campus to make a social event, which started out just for Brown Hall but quickly expanded.

The event had five tables set up, with 10 cups on each side of the table filled with water. The cups were originally filled with root beer, but some people were getting sick from all the carbonation. Each cup had Minnesota laws on drinking, statistics, symptoms, facts on what to do if someone is passed out, etc. to make the event educational as well as fun.

“I didn’t know some of the side effects, so they were interesting to know,” sophomore Madalyn Pezalla said. “It was just a fun time.”

Niehoff made a Facebook event and invited all of her friends, and she said this form of invitation was very beneficial when it came to the great turnout. At least 50 people came to the event, and on Facebook before the event there were 40 people confirmed to attend, and 56 students who said that they would “maybe” come.

“It’s just so easy to click everyone’s name, and you get a quick response,” she said. “Within ten minutes, fifteen people had RSVP’d.”

Niehoff called the police department in her home town of Osakis and asked if they would donate some beer goggles for the event, and they donated two pairs so students could play root beer pong and see how much of an effect drinking would have on their perceptions.

Sophomore Kevin Walen tried out the beer goggles, and he enjoyed the event.
“It’s funny because when you put [them] on, you tend not to function,” he said. “I thought this [event] was a really good idea, especially the facts on the cups because half the stuff I didn’t know.”

Sophomore Hannah Flatten, Pezalla’s pong partner, also enjoyed the facts on the cups as well as the environment.

“With everything on the cups, you learn a lot,” she said. “[And] with the music, it’s a good environment to play in.”

People were floating from table to table instead of playing in an actual tournament, and they wore the beer goggles whenever they wanted to; there was music playing and people were cheering, dancing, chatting and just hanging out in the social environment Niehoff created.

“Brittany did a great job organizing, and she got a lot of participation,” Lacey Neuman Bissonnette, Brown Hall Director, said. “It was nice how she interjected fun with education. This would be good for other halls to try out.”

Livedalen Hall Director Brady Hubbard also thought the event was a great success. He liked the facts on all of the cups because he said it was a more effective way to catch students’ attention.

“It’s an incredible event,” he said. “People won’t read a sign; if it’s on a cup, they’ll read it. She took something that’s traditionally for drinking and made it a fun sober event.”

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