Summer school coordinates sponge toss

Chelsea Parker, senior in animal science, throws a sponge to the buckets during the Water Sponge Challenge on July 15, 2015 in the Quad. (George Walker | The Collegian)

Compared to the school year, a summer in Manhattan doesn’t always have as many school-sponsored events going on. This summer, however, K-State Global Campus has taken charge to fill the summer with events once a week. A sponge challenge game was held on Wednesday on the quad in front of Waters Hall.

“It’s fun because it’s interactive and it’s an easy game to understand,” Anna Dyck, former K-State student and event worker, said.

The event allowed passing students to not only try their hand at a quick game of wet sponges, but also grab a quick snack and maybe even win a prize. The event is one of eight summer events happening throughout the summer and Jo Maseberg-Tomlinson, program coordinator for K-State Global Campus, said that the idea was to give students activities to do, even in the summer.

“Our goal is to create an active atmosphere for people who are here taking summer school,” Maseberg-Tomlinson said. “We really want people to go between classes or from class to their job and pass by and just stop for a second and have fun, win a prize, get something free to eat; like an ice pop or some cold lemonade. We just want summer school to be really fun.”

This particular sponge event was originally set to be a water balloon fight on Bosco Student Plaza because this was what students said they wanted in K-State Global Campus surveys. Due to the construction and other concerns, however, the idea morphed into a game that still included water on a hot day.

“We think it’s more environmentally friendly, because nobody has to go around and pick up the little balloon pieces,” Maseberg-Tomlinson said. “We’re worried about missing balloon pieces and birds ending up with them.”

This is the first summer that events like these have been held, according to Maseberg-Tomlinson, and their inspiration came from a conference that she attended.

Melinda Sinn, director of marketing and communications for K-State Global Campus, however said she believes that they really made the events special and more focused towards K-State.

“I think we took our own slant to it,” Sinn said. “I think one of the things that we did, that maybe other universities are not doing, is we looked at something that makes K-State unique in the summer time. And what makes K-State unique in the summer time is that if you haven’t been to Call Hall, you haven’t been here in the summer time … that’s where we came up with Summer Scoop, it’s because of Call Hall ice cream.”

In addition to creating a new atmosphere for students in summer school, the events have gotten to be a part of showing visitors the excitement of K-State even during the summer, according to Sinn.

“We’ve had, and this is not something we expected to happen, but we have people on campus who are being recruited for athletics, we have visitors on campus who are coming here to visit the school and I think that just shows those kinds of people that this is a fun place and there’s a lot of things going on,” Sinn said.

Due to the way the activities have gone this summer, Sinn suspects that doing these kinds of activities and events for students in summer school will continue next summer as well.

“I think we’ll continue it,” Sinn said. “I think it’s been really successful and I think that the people who have stopped by and done the different activities thought it was fun.”

Overall, the organization and execution of these events is to add something special to the K-State environment during the summer.

“(Our goal) is to bring as many people as possible and to let them know that summer school is here at K-State and to get them involved and wanting them to see that they’re here during the summer,” Dyck said. “So we’re going to be here telling them thank you for taking our summer classes.”

Photos from the sponge challenge:

My name is Emily Moore and I'm a senior majoring in English and mass communications with a minor in leadership. I love to read, write and edit. During my free time, I enjoy doing crossword puzzles, rock climbing and spending time with my friends.