Bus delays take bounce out of Sky Zone
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 21:09
On Aug. 31, 2012, Rice Program Council’s new committee, Night Owl Antics, sponsored a trip to Sky Zone, a wall-to-wall trampoline arena, where Rice students could jump for free. Transportation issues and injuries caused problems for Night Owl Antics’ first event of the year, however.
Night Owl Antics committee chair Kate Travis said that a total of 300 students were expected to jump in two waves of 150 people, due to Sky Zone’s capacity limits; however, only 150 got the opportunity to go due to transportation issues. To compensate for the missed rides, students waiting in line were given free Esperanza tickets, worth $20 each, Travis, a Sid Richardson College sophomore, said.
Night Owl Antics gave out approximately 110 tickets that night, Travis said. Travis stated that it cost over $2000 to send students to Sky Zone. Giving away free Esperanza tickets increased the cost for the event, using up more money from Night Owl Antics’ annual budget.
According to Travis, the Night Owl Antics committee was created early last year with the aim of providing substance-free events after 8 p.m. in the greater Houston area and sponsored one event last year called Battle Ball, a dodgeball tournament between all colleges. However, this year, the committee received its own budget under the umbrella budget of RPC and will sponsor more events.
The Sky Zone trip was the committee’s first event of the year. Travis said that three buses were supposed to report to the Sallyport by 10 p.m. to transport students. However, one of the three buses did not arrive until 10:40 p.m. As a result, Rice students could not leave campus until nearly 11 p.m., cutting into their jump time. Travis said two buses arrived to Sky Zone around 11:15 p.m. while the third bus got lost and did not arrive until about 11:45 p.m.
“Once the buses dropped off the students, they were instructed to drive back to Rice and pick up the second batch. Instead, they parked on the side of Sky Zone and did not pick up the students [waiting at Rice],” Travis said.
Will Rice College freshman Alyson Tseng was waiting in line for the second batch of people to go to Sky Zone. When the bus did not arrive in time to take them to Sky Zone, she said she was disappointed.
“I waited for over an hour in line to go to Sky Zone with my roommate,” Tseng said. “When I was told that I couldn’t go, I was immediately disappointed but it was okay because we did get something in return for our time. I think Esperanza tickets were an adequate price to pay for the wait.”
Before arriving on location, all students were instructed to fill out a liability waiver. Upon arriving, students were given a short safety briefing by Sky Zone staff. Even with such safety measures, three students were injured on site. They left the scene with broken or sprained ankles and are expected to make a full recovery.
Hanszen College junior Mike Schubert broke his ankle and has to wait six weeks for it to heal completely.
“I jumped off the wall and did a flip,” Schubert said. “When I landed, my weight was not distributed well and I snapped my foot. I came back to Hanszen and called EMS…[they] wrapped my foot up in an immobilizer splint. At the emergency center, they told me that I cracked my fibula and would not be able to walk on it for six weeks.”
Schubert said that although he was injured at Sky Zone, he will attend another event by Night Owl Antics. However, he said he does not intend to return to Sky Zone in the foreseeable future.
Two other people suffered similar injuries while at Sky Zone, according to Schubert. Schubert said Martel College sophomore Jonathan Rivera broke his fibula and Hanszen freshman Kavana Gowda sprained her ankle.
Travis said she chose Sky Zone for a committee event over other forms of entertainment for Rice students for its affordability and proximity to Rice.
“I had been to Sky High before and I really loved the idea of an indoor trampoline event,” Travis said. “We thought it would be a really cool idea to have Rice students participate in this.”
Travis said that although it was not the best kickoff that Night Owl Antics could have had, it certainly put them in the spotlight of the Rice community. In the future, Travis said that they will use a different bus company and leave more time in scheduling.
Travis said the next Night Owl Antics event is a gingerbread building competition on Nov. 19. This competition will take place in the Grand Hall and teams will be judged on creativity and size, Travis said.