‘Fais Do Do’ and ‘Swamp Bowl’ collide

Junior psychology major Anna Watkins competed in the 2018 “Swamp Bowl” volleyball tournament as part of team Just Spike It. Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion’s Roar

“Swamp Bowl” collaborated with “REC Fest” and University Housing’s “Fais Do Do” to host 32 teams with over 200 students participating at the events.

Associate Director of Operations & Facilities for Recreational Sports and Wellness Jean Bernard was pleased with the turnout and gave her thoughts on the event.

“I think it went great,” said Bernard. “The atmosphere was better than it had been in the last couple of years. Everyone hung around. It made for a more enjoyable atmosphere for the entire event. We’re trying to do programs for people who don’t traditionally participate in intramurals, and ‘Swamp Bowl’ gives us an avenue to do that. Having a one-day event like this that really gets the students involved, allows them to have fun and blow off some steam ahead of the finals week.”

Freshman middle school education, grades 4-8 major Destiney Robertson enjoyed participating.

“It was honestly crazy,” said Robertson. “I come from a more country family, and I’ve played volleyball all my life. So, having a mud-filled volleyball tournament was a blast.”

Bernard described this year’s “Swamp Bowl” as the biggest in the years she has been involved with the event. She credited the collaboration with “Fais Do Do” for the increased participation.

“I think it was mutually beneficial for them as well,” said Bernard. “I think the fact that we had the food and the DJ out there with us made the environment more enjoyable.” 

Director of Recreational Sports & Wellness Seth Thomas described his experience organizing his first “Swamp Bowl.”

“It was great just looking out over the crowd of people and seeing all the students have a good time,” said Thomas. “They came in early, and they stayed late. The smiles on everyone’s faces, I can tell people are having a good time. Seeing all those students at one place being able to relax and have a good time was awesome.”

Thomas explained how he got together with Assistant Director for Training and Programs for University Housing Tarra Thomas and representatives who organized “Fais Do Do.” 

“When I got here, we had ‘Swamp Bowl,’ and we had ‘REC Fest’ a week apart,” said Seth Thomas. “Then the housing does their ‘Fais Do Do.’ I was talking about, ‘Let’s just combine it. Let’s just collaborate our efforts and bring them together.’ That was my experience, what I wanted to do.”

Both Bernard and Seth Thomas feel the event had challenges coordinating with Dining Services.

“I think our biggest challenge was with Dining Services, just figuring out how to get them over here,” said Bernard. “Getting them set up with their card readers. The only other challenge was that we had more teams than we had in the past.” 

Seth Thomas understood the challenge offered by shifting the location for Dining Services and thanked them for the cooperation.

“With Dining Services in the past, was doing it at the student union where they had all the equipment, the logistics with that was tough,” said Seth Thomas. “I appreciate them being able to do that.” 

Bernard pointed out that free registration for the event played a part in an increase in attendance.

“In the past, we used to charge $10 a player,” said Bernard. “That would go toward their ‘Swamp Bowl’ T-shirt. This year, we made the event free so we could get more participation. I didn’t hear complaints about not doing T-shirts.”

With the success of “Swamp Bowl,” Seth Thomas is optimistic of future events.

“I left yesterday feeling really excited,” said Seth Thomas. “Not only about the event but excited about the things we’re going to do in the future. I think there’s just a whole lot of opportunity for us coming up.”

Junior psychology major Anna Watkins shared her experience competing.

“My favorite part was being a part of a team and having a little bit of light competition,” said Watkins. “It was a fun and low-stress event.”