Dim lighting, blacklights, and multi-colored disco lights bounced off the walls of The HUB during the Game Center’s once-a-semester Blacklight Night on March 10 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The HUB offered students free bowling, arcade-style basketball, video games, ping-pong, and billiards, one of its last activities before its closure due to the corona virus pandemic.
At the doorway swiping student ID cards, Ethan Magleby, a freshman from Utah studying business management, said it was a promotional event for students to check out the things The HUB had to offer without having to pay the normal price. “It's a fun atmosphere. There are party lights, music, and everything's free.” Magleby said students staying at home were missing out on a great night.
At first, the event attracted just a few students until around 9 p.m. when the bowling alley and tabletop games were occupied with groups of students. The room was then filled with couples and friend groups of varying sizes taking advantage of the free activities.
Having been to the event last semester, Malina Srianan, a freshman from Utah with an undeclared major, said she found out about the event from using the Corq app. She said when she saw “free games at The HUB” she thought it would be a good excuse to get her friends together. Her group was bowling, and she said time at The HUB is best if you're with friends.
Accompanying Srianan, Joey Oliver, a junior from Washington studying applied mathematics, and Anna Rogers, a freshman studying business from Utah, were bowling as well. Rogers said, “[Malina] is my intel.” She said she thought it would be a fun Tuesday night activity since it was something out of the ordinary.
While “Firework” by Katy Perry played overhead, Oliver pointed out not only was he “crushing these ladies [at] bowling,” but also he was enjoying the chance to hang out with his friends. His favorite part, he said, was making treasured memories to fondly look back on from his time at BYUH.
Oliver said he had finished his homework and did not have any plans, so when his friends invited him out, he thought it would be fun since he could hang out with them.
To socialize and hang out with friends is what Rogers said was her favorite thing about Blacklight Night at The HUB. She said The HUB is a great environment because “it’s super low key. There's fun music playing and there’s plenty to do.”
Sharing Roger’s sentiment, Oliver said he liked the event for its atmosphere. “I think it's really nice.” He enjoyed the music and lights. “We all feel comfortable coming and having a good time.”
Applauding The HUB, he said he liked how they were able to provide this type of atmosphere on campus.
There were, however, activities students still needed to pay for. At the booth next to the bowling lanes, snacks, microwave noodles, candy, juice, socks for bowling shoes were being sold. Access to the virtual reality (VR) games still required payment. There were also pay-to-play air hockey machines. Both VR and air hockey seemed to be deserted while students were occupied with the free games.
According to the BYU-Hawaii website, The HUB Game Center is closed until further notice in order to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 corona virus.