Climbing to new heights

Roxann Crenshaw struggled to reach the top of the cliff. She felt her muscles shaking and tensing every time she lifted to grab another rock. And when she reached the top, she propelled herself back down to the ground.

“As I tried to climb my way to the top of the wall, I could feel my legs shaking and my calves tighten up”, said Crenshaw, sophomore and Mahoney resident, after she caught her breath from her rock climbing challenge.

It is not every day that students can walk outside and see a rock wall stretching 24 feet high outside of their dorms. On Friday, Sept.1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Mahoney and Pearson Residential Colleges collaborated to provide a rock-climbing event that promoted residence life.

Its purpose was to create unity within Mahoney/Pearson, getting students excited about programming beyond the classroom.

“It’s a time for community building where students get a chance to interact with each other outside of the classroom and the dorms” said Courtnee Reid, senior and third year residence assistant.

Reid along with four other residence assistants had been planning the rock-climbing event since before students returned to campus.

Mahoney/Pearson wanted to promote “healthy fit lifestyles” as one of the themes in its “Super Sweet Six Weeks” which consist of collaborative programming for residents in both Mahoney and Pearson for the first six weeks of school.

“No more sitting in the dorms and playing video games all day,” said Jamal Jones, senior and third year residence assistant who was also involved in organizing the rock climbing event. “We should be doing something active.”

Not only did Mahoney/Pearson residents leave their dorms and get active, but students from other residential colleges joined in as well.

“It was so much fun. I was so scared because I felt like I was going to fall over,” said Leah Danville, a sophomore, after reaching the top the wall. “I would have just been eating or sleeping if I wasn’t here. There need to be more activities like this to get people excited”.

The wall consisted of four lanes: two for easy, hard, and hardest.

“The hard lanes give you a workout in your arms,” stated Gabriel Roldan, the technician of Fun City Amusement’s wall. “If you don’t have arms you’re not going up.”

Yet, Anthony Wise, sophomore living in the Apartment Area on campus, had to test the wall out for himself.

“In the beginning it was hard, but when I got to the top I felt like I had just conquered the world,” said Wise.

With its automatic hydraulic pulley system students got to climb the wall, then propel themselves down like members of the SWAT units. The first out of the six programs of “Super Sweet Six Weeks” proved to be innovative and interactive.

The rock wall’s premiere appearance at Mahoney/Pearson was not only a success with students living in Mahoney/Pearson but across UM’s campus.

Beyond the rock wall, music and food, students seemed to enjoy themselves and residence life.

“We just want to build a community by forming friendships, meeting people, and not feeling like a stranger within your residential hall,” said Reid.