By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
Five-hundred and thirty seven ACU Facebook protesters can put their worries on hold – the McGlothlin Campus Center bowling alley is here to stay.
The original plans of tearing down the bowling alley in the basement of the Campus Center as part of a renovation plan for a new food court were scratched after a committee, made up of various ACU departmental representatives, chose to leave the bowling alley untouched.
“As far as I know right now, there are no plans to get rid of the bowling alley,” said Joel Swedland, Campus Center manager.
The decision was made April 2 – one day after Evan Black, senior integrated marketing and communication major from Denison, created a Facebook group to protest tearing down the alley.
Although the group rallied more than 500 students and alumni against tearing down the alley, it was the original plan’s high cost, not the group that changed the committee’s mind.
“I don’t think it had anything to really do with [the group],” Swedland said.
Students’ Association president Maher Saab, who sat on the deciding committee as the student body’s representative, said the decision was made based on cost efficiency of tearing down the alley. And because of the high cost, the committee decided to leave the alley alone for now.
Black said he created the group to raise awareness of the demolition plans and create an online petition to show the number of student body members against removing the alley.
Black’s plan appears to have worked and Andy Slone, evening supervisor of the Campus Center, said he hopes the online support will lead to an increase of customers at the alley.
“I was really impressed with the amount of students that joined the group,” Slone said. “I think that it is a sign that a lot of people really do care about it.”
Slone said rumors of the bowling alley being a waste of space and unprofitable are untrue, and the alley has made significant changes to raise interest in the appeal. Some of the most recent changes include the pool tables and other non-bowling activities being free with a student ID, free bowling on Tuesday nights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and new black lights and a better sound system to compliment the lanes.
Slone also said the alley is beneficial in building a good image of ACU, since it is often rented out for birthday parties and other non-ACU functions.
“I’m definitely for the ACU bowling lanes,” Slone said. “I think that it’s cool that some ACU students are willing to wrap their arms around it and fight for it.”