By Josh Tolentino
Assistant Features Editor
The End Zone re-opened with a bang, bringing out a DJ and free wings for all on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The End Zone, located in Hillwood Commons, has not been used recreationally by students in the past two years, aside from club events, meetings or conferences. The idea to revive the space emerged from the Dean’s Council.
“We talked about the End Zone and how it used to be pretty popular (and) used to be well liked by students,” Dean of Students Michael Berthel said. Facilities services upgraded the space with new paint, decor and two new pool tables; Aramark dining services created a new menu for students. The goal was to create a student “hot spot.”
The End Zone will serve as a late night spot for students, with operating hours from 8 p.m. to midnight, Thursday through Sunday. The Winnick Student Center, the primary food source for resident students, closes early on the weekends; Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m., leaving, students with no options for food after hours.
Manny Kaur, junior radiology technician major, said the campus has very limited food hours, and is eager for a place to eat late at night. “I used to starve since everything is closed,” she said.
The End Zone’s new menu includes a variety of “bar food,” including, burgers, wings, mozzarella sticks, quesadillas, nachos, loaded french fries, onion rings, mac’n cheese bites, and more. Students can pay with cash, credit card, or by using their dining dollars.
Berthel promised that the space would not be used for meetings or conferences, but that it was “strictly a student space,” something that the campus was lacking. Upcoming events in the End Zone include a Valentine’s Day paint night on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m., a “Survivor” season premiere party on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m., and an Oscars watch party on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. There are more events planned throughout the semester.
The space gained a lot of traction post-free wing night, with students using the space during common hour, between and after classes, and late at night. Senior film major Fredric Roberts has only been to the End Zone a handful of times in the past four years, however he plans to watch upcoming soccer games there. “If there’s an important game on campus, it’s great to know there’s a comfortable place to watch it,” he said. Resident students are pleased to know there is more to the university outside of their dorms.
“[We] used to have to go to McDonalds or some other place off campus [to hang out],” Kyle Duncan, a digital game design and computer science double major, said. “But going off campus late at night is so annoying, so I’m glad End Zone is back open,” he said.