61°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Game Room to transform to Sunday football heaven

The+normally+dormant+Game+Room+will+play+hosts+to+scenes+like+this+on+Sundays
The normally dormant Game Room will play hosts to scenes like this on Sundays

There is something about the human condition that causes us to complain. Complaining is one of the most satisfying things that a person can do, and when it comes to complaining about football, especially in a group setting, there is nothing better. Whether you’re talking about a boneheaded quarterback, a seemingly biased referee, or a dumb play-call, yelling at the TV with all of your friends around and some great food in front of you is a great way to spend a day. For University of Massachusetts Boston students that wanted a place to watch some football and do some yelling on campus, the Campus Center Game Room and Atrium will being showing games on Sundays from NFL Week 8 through Week 15.
This new way to watch games comes as a welcome option for the more than 4,000 UMass Boston undergrads who are under the age of 21 — and therefore not allowed in many bars on game days. With such a large community living at the Harbor Point and Peninsula complexes these days, and no real common areas to watch games, the Game Room will allow students to mingle with the greatest remaining common denominator in America, football, as a backdrop.
The new hours were the brain child of Student Arts and Events Council Chairman, Benjamin Whelihan, who, in addition to being a huge football fan, wanted to bring students together at a campus that sometimes more closely resembles an airport than a college.
“One of my initiatives for before I graduate this year is to do everything in my power to create a campus culture,” Whelihan said. “I know that there is a very large population on this campus that are under the age of 21 and play fantasy football.”
For the first year, the game room will use the existing cable package to show games on CBS or FOX at 1 p.m., and the atrium will show whatever game is not being presented in the Game Room. Whelihan suggested that if showing the games became a success, SAEC would consider ordering Sunday Ticket for next season, but that will up to the new Chair.
The last major hurdle to opening the room on Sundays was the fiscal implications of staffing the space for the extra day, but after that was cleared, it was full speed ahead for Whelihan’s vision.
Whelihan has been approached by numerous students who heard about his idea and were very supportive.
“I’ve talked to some students who are underaged and have said that they’d love to be able to come to campus and watch games,” Whelihan said, “they’re excited.”
Whelihan was very quick to point out that while food and drink are allowed, alcohol will not be permitted in the Game Room, saying that UMass Boston is a dry campus and that SAEC does not promote underage drinking or the consumption of any illegal substances.
In all, football is a great connective tissue in American society, and SAEC is hoping to use it as a valuable tool to bring the campus together. Fans of all teams are encouraged to show their pride on Sundays, and any chance for UMass Boston students to share a common bond is something that Whelihan and his team want to capitalize on.
“Sports is something that people can all get behind and cheer for,” Whelihan said,” It’s something that you can identify with.”
“I want this campus to be a place where students can come, even if they don’t have classes, and meet friends in a safe environment,” he added.
The game room will be open on Sundays from Oct. 26 (Week 8) through Dec. 14 (Week 15). If the program is a success, they will be open on Sundays throughout next season.