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The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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The Inside Scoop on RHA’s Recent Ping Pong Tournament

Graphic by Angelina Clark

As the clock rolled toward 4:00 on Wednesday, February 7th, Rolando Lopez, Cheyenne Laszlo, and other members of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) were preparing to host one of their monthly events in order to bring residents of Hoosac Hall closer together. 

With the ping pong paddles strewn about and snacks laid out on tables, it was not hard to guess what sort of event the RHA would be hosting. This month, they chose to run a ping pong tournament in Hoosac Hall’s lobby, which is dubbed the “Harbor.” This event would be run double elimination style, meaning participants would have to lose twice in order to be taken out of the match. The last person standing would be crowned the winner and would take home the grand prize of assorted goods including ping pong paddles/balls, snacks, card games, and more.

In an interview regarding their thoughts about running the event, Cheyenne Laszlo (Area Coordinator for the townhouses and an advisor for the RHA) had this to say: “I’m expecting some friendly competition and for people to get moving a bit and shake off the mood from the cloudy weather lately.”

It didn’t take long for students to begin trickling in for the event, and Laszlo’s predictions about the energy in the room soon proved to come true as participants started jokingly teasing each other, cheering each other on, and enjoying an array of snacks and drinks provided by the RHA during the practice period before the start of the tournament. 

Once the practice period was over and the event started, the cheerful mood continued on. In an unofficial interview after the fact, Jackie Cohen ‘27, declared that it was “cool to interact with people I wouldn’t have normally had the chance to talk with.” She also mentioned that “everybody was cheering for everyone, even people we didn’t know.” 

Based on the announcement from Jackie, it’s clear to see that the event had an enjoyably low-key atmosphere. Students from all different social groups came and had fun with each other. Sporty students were playing against bookish students, introverts were playing against extroverts, and everybody was able to cast aside their differences to have a nice competition with one another. 

In a hopeful turn of events, one student, Cleo Murphy ‘25, even said “I would love to participate again and meet new people if RHA does another event. These [events] are perfect for meeting people and having fun.” 

Despite the polished appearance of the tournament and the fun memories made by the participants, this event was apparently not an easy one to coordinate. According to Laszlo, “With Venable being closed and the Sullivan Lounge not being an option, we had some trouble at first deciding what kind of event to run this month.” Prior to this ping pong tournament, the RHA would usually host a monthly sporting event in Venable Gym, which is currently not available to be used. “We were very limited on where we could actually host and what sports we could actually do,” continued Laszlo. “Hoosac Hall has a ping pong table and a pool table, so we decided, ‘Hey, let’s host a ping pong tournament.’” 

This lack of sport options and last-minute discussion as to where to host the event would end up becoming an unexpected blessing in disguise for the RHA. Multiple students entering the building after attending classes who had no idea the event was even happening saw it and ended up participating. One such student, Aya Lahrizi ‘27,  commented that “It was super fun. I think having [the tournament] in the lobby of Hoosac was a really good idea, because students passing by ended up wanting to join in.” 

All in all, the event was a smash hit, with about 30 students in all coming and participating in the festivities. If you’re wondering whether you should come to an RHA event in the future, take it from Murphy: “I didn’t win,” she began, “but I had a good time and I’m glad I came.” 

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Ainslie Lafko, Staff Writer

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    Carol HamiltonFeb 20, 2024 at 9:09 am

    Great job as always, Ainz!