If you take a walk inside the University Center, here at Texas A&M University – Texarkana, this semester, you might hear something like this, “Clack! Crash!” Upon further investigation, you might hear laughter, cheering and an occasional cry of dismay.
What is causing such a ruckus? The answer lies in the hallway leading to the game-room on the north side of the building, where some new attractions have been installed.
Two pool tables, a ping-pong table and a foosball table have been placed smack dab in the middle of this hallway. This area, now an extension of the game-room, has become a very popular place among students.
“This is becoming routine,” junior, Tony Yarber said. “Every Monday and Wednesday I come down here and play some pool.”
Yarber is not alone. At any point during the day, it is possible to hear the familiar “clack” of the pool balls, or the exciting “pings” that accompany a rousing game of table tennis. Even students who are not playing gather around the newly placed furniture to enjoy a heated game of foosball.
While the pool and Ping-Pong tables are new, the game-room itself has been at play for a while now. It still regularly hosts a game of Madden on the Xbox 360, or a table-top game such as Dungeons and Dragons, but the new attractions have really been a hit.
Especially the pool tables.
Just like Yarber, several students have taken to the pool tables in a habit forming way. Games can become fierce, and the competition can get serious. The lure has even extended its reach to graduate students.
Graduate student and lab instructor, Justin Hubbart, plays pool with his own stick.
“Yes, I brought my own stick,” Hubbart said. “Is that ok?
At this statement, everyone around took a chance to peek at his pool stick. The golden shine and the dark brown handle distinguish it from the plain sticks the University has to lend.
Hubbart is a good example of what these tables can offer. He comes to play pool so he can blow off some steam, and relax from the classes he teaches. His dress of slacks and a tie recall images of a man at a pub playing pool after a long day at the office.
The new gaming area is doing a great job of entertaining students, bringing people together and adding to the cohesive college experience. It is a way of creating unity and fellowship among the unlikely, and adds a bit of fun to the sounds of the University center.
Hubbart sure does agree, as he lines up a particularly difficult shot, and then, “crash!” He nails it, to which one student remarks, “You have to bring your own stick to make that one.”