Caitlyn Wasmundt / Lantern photographer
What do nail treatments, yoga and massages have in common? Would you have guessed, the Ohio Union?
The Ohio Union Activities Board transformed the Union’s Great Hall Meeting Rooms into a spa Monday for OUABe Glad Day, an event where, from noon to 4 p.m., students could receive free relaxation and beauty treatments sponsored by the Student Activity Fee, which is $25 per quarter.
The event, which was the second of its kind, was initially created to provide stress relief during the first week of classes, said Kaitlyn McDowell, the special events chair for OUAB. The name was appropriately chosen because organizers of the event wanted every student to leave the Union feeling glad, McDowell said.
“It shows that the university cares,” said OUAB member Shaon Shamsul. “Just because classes can get really stressful for some students at the beginning, they wanted to open it up to make classes go a little bit easier.”
The event offered beauty stations where students could get their hair, nails and makeup done by professionals from Paul Mitchell salon, as well as a yoga station OSU Recreational Sports conducted and food the Ohio Union catered. Perhaps the most popular station was the massage station, which aside from its collection of massage chairs, contained four high-tech aqua-massage beds, machines that use high powered water jets to simulate a masseuse’s touch. The beds were so popular, in fact, that students had to collect ticket numbers to get in line.
“It was all pretty extensive,” said Jamie Zumach, a first-year in food science and nutrition. “When you initially come here, you don’t expect them to go out of their way to create events like this. It’s nice to see that they come through with things.”
However some students did not have time to take full advantage of the event’s extensive offerings because it took place in the middle of the day, a time when many people have class.
Zach Rusk, a first-year in mechanical engineering, said that because he was hurrying between classes, he didn’t have time to do everything he wanted to at the event. Rusk said that they aren’t able to please everyone at the event, due to time constraints.
“I don’t think they have much of a choice,” Zumach said. “They can’t satisfy everybody, and this time probably satisfies most people. Right now, early morning people are getting out of classes, so it probably satisfies them.”
Zumach said she was also pressed for time.
McDowell said that organizers tried to ne considerate of student’s busy schedules.
“Busy students can stop in, grab a quick bite and choose one activity to participate in,” she said. “Busy students will be able to stop by in between classes and enjoy at least one aspect of OUABe Glad Day.”
Despite the fact that the event was marketed as a relaxation opportunity for students, some said the event was geared too strongly toward a female audience.
“There really wasn’t much for guys,” Rusk said, citing the beauty stations at the event. “I thought there would be more massage stations, and more types of massages would be nice.”
Jessica Schmidt, a second-year in speech and hearing science, agreed.
“It’s definitely good for women,” she said. “They did a pretty good job with the eye makeup, and they had good food and coffee … but I’m not hard to please.”
Ultimately, OUAB representatives said the event was a success. The first OUABe Glad Day, which took place during Winter Quarter, drew about 650 people and this event also saw heavy attendance and generally positive reviews, said OUAB adviser Stephen Humphries. Its success has convinced OUAB organizers to make the event a regular occurrence, though the frequency and timing of the event is yet to be determined, Humphries said.
“I think OUABe Glad Day is going to become at least a yearly thing,” Humphries said. “People will know what to expect and can come enjoy what we have to offer. We are going to have it every year and continue to improve.”