K-State Union Program Council sponsors paintball, pizza

Brooks Crawford, freshman in microbiology, takes cover behind an inflatable wall during the paintball match at the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex on April 8, 2016. (Miranda Snyder | The Collegian)

Pizza and paintball kept students entertained Friday night at the Chester E. Peters Recreational Complex for one of the Union Program Council’s After Hours events, which was held from 6-10 p.m. UPC donated 50 pizzas, soda and free paintball equipment for students.

“People show up, shoot their friends and have a great time,” Mason Halfert, event volunteer and junior in food science and industry and food defense, said.

Halfert, a referee at the event, said he is a member of the K-State Paintball Club, which helped sponsor the event.

The club, which fluctuates between 15-20 members, has helped run the event in previous years, and this year it donated a nearly full-size tournament-ball-style course with inflatable bunkers and netting to help provide the best experience possible for students, Halfert said.

“We just want to give back to K-State and give some points for the club in order to get more funding for the club, which allows us to do events like this year after year and grow our community to make paintball bigger,” Ian Ferguson, event assistant referee and sophomore in political science, said.

Ferguson said paintball is about the family-oriented community that brings people closer and gives friends and students a fun, exciting and stress-relieving way to compete with one another.

“It’s a fun event that most people don’t normally get the opportunity to do, and we have the Paintball Club out here to help out because they know what they are doing,” Brooke Pemberton, co-chair for After Hours with UPC and freshman in criminology, said. “It’s always good to do cosponsorships when we can to get outside of UPC.”

Events like this are ways the university can offer students fun and free alternatives to other weekend activities that help build community and get students connected to people they otherwise normally would not have connected with, Pemberton said. She said that is the entire goal for After Hours events, which happen every Friday night. Other events the group has put on include live events like concerts, comedian and magician acts, bubble soccer and local attractions, like hosting events at the pumpkin patch.

“We do this to get our name out there and to help out students and UPC to promote After Hours, which is to help students have safe fun,” Sarah Hagerty, president of the K-State Paintball Club and junior in criminology, said.

According to Hagerty, the club and other sponsors who helped put on the event, such as Elite Sports Complex based out of Salina, are focused on giving students a great experience to help build up community. Elite Sports donated all of the masks, markers and netting for the event, and it stressed the importance of local sponsorships to help events and clubs do what they do, Hagerty said.

Students are just looking for something fun and out of the ordinary to have a fun weekend and meet some new people most of the time, according to Sam Moylan, freshman in computer science.

“Free, fun activities, pizza and Mountain Dew,” Moylan said. “For a fun night, what else do you need?”