Fresno State’s Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC) offered free bowling for students at the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on Thursday, March 17.
The celebration was at Bulldog Bowl in the lower level of the University Student Union (USU), where students were able to bowl and play billiards for free and drink mocktails from 7 – 9 p.m. as a part of the SHCC’s Healthy Campus Week series of events on campus.
Kathy Yarmo, wellness coordinator, said that occasionally students may not know what to do on St. Patrick’s Day, and when people think about the holiday they frequently associate it with going out to bars and drinking. Because of that, the SHCC wanted to provide students a fun alternative where alcohol isn’t in the mix.
“We wanted to provide an opportunity, again, not to say not to drink — obviously we encourage drinking of age — but there are other things that you can do to have fun. So, we wanted to provide another option for students to come in and have fun,” Yarmo said.
Yarmo said, due to seeing the mental health of some students who come to the counseling center, she hopes events like the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration provide students with a chance to decompress and unplug from their school life and studying.
When students walk into the counseling center, Yarmo said she can see the stress in their faces from midterms, and that she wanted to make sure they have opportunities and events like these for any who feel that they need a break.
Through the activity of bowling, dancing and playing billiards, Yarmo said the event helped students do something physical and fun. With this event, Yarmo said the focus was on the wellness of the students, both physically and mentally.
Tylah Haggard spent the previous day prioritizing school work, so Thursday night provided her an opportunity to be part of this “live” event.
“It’s helping me by definitely giving me time to relax and kind of decompress, so that, when I go back to doing my school work, it’ll be good, and I can focus and just log back in,” Haggard said.
Prabal Angrish, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, said he was previously led to believe the return to in-person instruction after the pandemic would lack fun activities for students, but the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration showed him otherwise.
“I came to Fresno State in 2019, and this was the vibe that I missed, and like all these new students come in and they’re saying Fresno State is dead. They [can] see right now, ‘OK this place can really turn it up.’ I love this, this is amazing. I missed this so much, and I’m so glad this is happening,” Angrish said.
He said he brought his friends soon after learning the bowling alley was open again, and they were excited when they heard they were able to bowl for free.
“We missed this bowling alley. It’s like the highlight of our campus, [that] we have a bowling alley. Like, whoever asks me what’s the greatest thing about our campus, I’m like ‘We have a bowling alley,’” Angrish said.
To Angrish, the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration was important because of the efforts that went into making an alcohol-free event where students can have fun and do activities that they find entertaining, especially when alcohol and drugs have become so “approachable.”
“It really shows when a community comes together, it’s all about the people,” Angrish said.