One of the last places CSU students expect to see snow on an 80-degree day in early October is in the middle of their campus. Yet there it was — white and ready to be ridden — courtesy of CSU Snowriders club and student government.
Making use of $20,000 granted to them from the Senate General Fund, CSU Snowriders held the 2008 Homecoming Rail Jam competition on the Lory Student Center Plaza Wednesday afternoon. Snowriders raised an additional $5,400 to contribute to the total $25,500 event cost.
The exposition showcased a host of snowboarders and skiers from around the state who flaunted their skills on various rails set on a ramp in front of the large crowd outside the LSC.
Amanda Poindexter, a junior construction management major from Bennett, Colo. who won the women’s competition, said, “I feel pretty stoked. I wish there were maybe more girls competing, but I’m stoked.”
Adam Pitchford, president of the Snowriders, said the event was something “new and exciting for Homecoming.”
The competitors enjoyed themselves and the event.
“I’m stoked,” a sweaty Gus Kenworthy said moments after winning the skiing competition. “I’m really surprised at the level of competition. It was so much fun. It’s crazy hitting a rail jam in October in the middle of a college campus.”
Another rider, Matt Goodell, seconded that riding on campus in the middle of October was “sweet.”
“There was some pretty nice riding,” Goodell said. “It was dope. Do people say ‘dope?’ If people say dope, then I’ll say it was dope.”
Colin Spencer, winner of the men’s snowboarding competition, had a different outlook on the merits of the competition.
“There were tons of babes running crazy. I’ve never seen so many in my life,” Spencer, a Golden, Colo. resident, said.
Although Spencer said he is currently “just living the dream.”
He added, “I guess my major could be snowboarding management?”
Competitors who placed received a cash prize of $150 for first, $50 for second and the $10 entry fee back for third. All placers also got Volcom socks and Defcon gloves.
Despite the sun beating down on the Plaza, onlookers flocked around the ramp, congesting traffic and enjoying the show.
“It’s pretty cool,” Anna Talarico, a freshman biomedical science major said. “I’m from Iowa so it’s pretty different.”
Jeff Palms, a junior environmental science major, said the rail jam was “dope” and well worth the price tag.
“Hell yeah!” Palms said about the cost, “It’s a good cause!”
Taylor Smoot, ASCSU president, also said he thought the event was worth the cost.
“(I) loved it. It was great,” Smoot said.
Smoot said he estimated 15,000 people saw the event, and as far as reaching students goes, this event probably had higher attendance than many other programs.
Dan Palmer, a masters student studying economics, disagreed.
Palmer said that although he did not know what the attendance was, “If all students are going to pay, all students ought to benefit.”
The cost for each student comes out to about 80 cents, Palmer said, and before spending the money on such a program, the student government should take into consideration whether it is something that most people would agree to pay for.
“In this case, I’m not sure they would,” Palmer said, also noting that the event, while fun and entertaining, was not culturally enlightening and did not bring awareness to campus.
Galvanic Design, who puts on similar rail jams around the country, provided the ramp and rails for the event. The snow, Pitchford said, was made of ice blocks trucked in from California.
“We wanted to push snowboarding to the college atmosphere,” said event manager and rail jam host MC Chimpy-T.
He said part of the reason for the rail jam is that it is the “best way to market new companies.”
Adam Pitchford said with the exception of a few hiccups, the event went well.
“It went amazing. Everybody’s happy,” Pitchford said. “The students are happy, the riders are happy, everybody’s happy.”
Staff writer Jim Sojourner can be reached at email@example.com.