Want to skateboard? New UAF club hits the ramps

Jason Hersey/Sun Star Reporter
February 19, 2013

Six members of UAF Skateboarding Club wait to drop in at Joel's Place, the only indoor skatepark in Fairbanks, Tuesday night, February 12, 2013. Jason Hersey/Sun Star

Six members of UAF Skateboarding Club wait to drop in at Joel’s Place, the only indoor skate park in Fairbanks, Tuesday night, February 12, 2013. Jason Hersey/Sun Star

Skateboarding is on a roll. The UAF Skateboarding Club is not yet on the official registry under the Leadership Program but members are meeting nonetheless. In cooperation with local non-profit group Joel’s Place, skateboarders don’t have to wait until the snow melts to break out the boards. Joel’s Place houses Fairbanks’ only indoor skate park and is now accepting club members for weekly skate sessions.

Math and Statistics student Andrew Slagle has been spearheading the paperwork process. In order to succeed according to the UAF Leadership Program’s club formation guidelines at least seven members are needed. Also, the new club would need to hold two advertised meetings on campus, gather ten signatures of support, fill out applications for funding, attend orientation meetings, include a faculty adviser and name both a president and financial officer. Membership is growing. Six members showed up for last Tuesday’s skate session, but according to Slagle there are other potential members.

To make the club sound more appealing, Slagle told that the president’s office will be renamed “The Duke of Disaster,” and he joked they may elect the office by holding a skateboard trick-matching game called SKATE. The winner would gain the prestigious title. The club has also successfully found their faculty adviser, Associate Professor of Statistics, Ron Barry. Although, they changed his official title to “The Sultan of Steez.” Affirming the need to present a more appealing club image, member Cory Boiko, a psychology major, said “we don’t have meetings, we have sessions.” Meetings just sound boring, he explained.

Joel’s Place, a faith based, non-profit youth center, has operated at its current location for 10 years. According to Program Director Kelli Boyle, Joel’s Place is a venue for all-age art and music shows, Bible studies and a recovery group for teenage girls, as well as the skate park There is also a café which serves nightly dinners and espresso. The center is located on 1890 Marika Road and is accessible by Blue and Red FNSB bus lines

UAF Skateboarding Club sessions are from 5 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday at Joel’s Place. Club funding, which Slagle hopes to apply towards session fees, must still be applied for and accepted by the Leadership Program. Until then, each session costs $7 and requires a UAF ID card.

Slagle said the club’s goal is to get participants who love to skate and include those that want to learn. He added that beginners are welcome and Joel’s Place even provides helmets and boards for those who do not have their own. All one needs to do to become a member is show up for a session.

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