The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Niagara College students rounded out the orientation week festivities with free skating and hot chocolate at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus courtyard from Jan. 18-19.
“Students are loving it,” says Vineet Bhatia, adding that 35 per cent of their students are international and were experiencing skating for the first time (along with himself).
Bhatia, the director of social programming for the Student Administrative Council (SAC), referred to the event as “my baby” and says he is pleased with the result.
The self-proclaimed “fun guy on campus” says winter orientation planning began in November, but he got the idea for what they’re calling “Sac-afeller square” while in New York for New Year’s Eve.
Business student Danish Khan, 19, laced up for the first time in his life on only his sixth day in Canada.
He says he loved it so much he would hit the ice again after class.
Rachelle Labonte, 21, a second-year Hospitality: Hotel and Restaurant Management student who took skating lessons when she was little, says she joined in because she “wanted to see if I still have it.”
“Turns out I don’t,” she laughed.
Sahil Deep Singh, 20, another Business student who got to try skating for the first time, says it was “so awesome” SAC organized this new experience for him and the other international students.
Karan Arora, 18, a Culinary Innovation and Food Technology student, says he plays street hockey but has never worn ice skates.
He says he is happy to have acquired a “new skill” today.
Ceren Camoglu, SACs director of social programming for the Welland campus, says they had a great turn out, especially from international students. “Everyone is happy,” she says, “and that makes me happy.”
The pop-up ice rink was supplied by X Infused, a Toronto-based company. Skate rentals were free.