The NOTL Campus Courtyard was flooded with students Jan. 18 and 19, eager to lace up for an afternoon skate courtesy of the NC Student Administrative Council.
Inspired by the Rink at Rockefeller Centre in New York City, NCSAC decided to start the winter semester by bringing the excitement and the student body together in the form of an outdoor skating rink, aptly named the SAC-afeller Square, for Orientation Week.
Despite the chilly temperatures students dropped by to sharpen their skating skills, watch their friends attempt something new or learn to skate themselves, giving words of encouragement from the sidelines and sharing a laugh over hot chocolate.
For many NC international students, this was their first time putting on a pair of skates. Guides were on site to help students properly tie their skates and offer advice to newcomers.
“I tried it for the first time yesterday and I’m feeling more confident for today,” said Victor Castrillon, a Hospitality and Tourism student who comes to NC from Aruba. “It’s something different, I come from the Caribbean so experiencing snow for the first time is nice.
“I notice there are a lot more students this semester,” he continued. “If they (NCSAC) bring more events like this, I think it would be great.”
The skating rink received a positive response from students, some stating it added to their college experience.
“It was fun,” said Serj Korenev, a Hospitality and Tourism student from Ukraine. “Most of the people here have never had skating experience before, so to get involved and offer it for free is amazing.”
“It was an extraordinary experience for sure and it’s time out of the books,” added Julia Salata, Korenev’s classmate who is also from Ukraine.
Representatives from the NCSAC were extremely pleased with the support and turnout at the two-day event.
“This was an amazing event – for many, this was their first experience skating, ever – and to see the smiles this type of experience provided, was incredibly heartwarming,” said Andy Hall, NCSAC’s marketing communications manager. “This year we really wanted to ensure the students in January received the same level of excitement to start their semester as the students who started in September.
“An event like ‘SAC-afellar Square’ really gave students a unique experience, and one they’ll never forget.”
“It was incredible to see students for whom it was just their first week in Canada and are sending pictures back home tho their families showing them their unforgettable NC journey moment,” said Vineet Bhatia, NCSAC’s director of social programming. “All the hard work put in by everyone at NCSAC was truly worth it when they saw the smiles of the students faces on the rink.”