The purpose of Ladies’ Night is to promote women climbing, as the rock wall is generally a male-dominated sport, rock wall employees said.
But employees say there is much more behind the event than the number of females in attendance.
“It gives women the chance to come here without guys being around or feeling judged and be willing to try it,” Matt Casciani, the rock wall manager, said. “A lot of times, girls get intimidated by guys climbing on the wall, so they won’t really come try it unless with a group.”
Casciani also said gender stereotypes exist in the Rec Center in general.
“I think the weight room should have events like this every once in a while,” Casciani said. “There’s gender bias in certain parts of the Rec, like girls fill up the ‘Group X’ classes, guys are always in the weight room. Any way to break those barriers would be something I’d definitely promote.”
Reed Seely, the equipment manager for the Outdoor Center, said the rock wall can be intimidating for newcomers as well. He said the employees are probably more excited than the newcomers coming to climb.
“We’re always so game for new climbers at these events,” Seely said. “I think people have this idea that we’re over here like, ‘Oh, we don’t want you to climb. We want to do our own thing,’ but I know for a lot of us, working here is the best part of our week.”
Junior physics major Hana Jaafari has been climbing the rock wall multiple times a week since her first year at TCU. She said the rock wall and Ladies’ Nights events help females to gain confidence.
“I think a lot of people associate rock climbing with masculinity and get intimidated by how it looks,” Jaafari said. “I guess they associate it with a lot of upper body strength they think they don’t have.”
Jaafari and rock wall employees said more advertising would attract more female climbers not only to Ladies’ Nights but also to the rock wall in general during the week.
For the most recent Ladies’ Night, employees put up signs in the Rec Center two weeks prior to the event and also posted it on TCU Announce.
“To do better marketing in the future, we’re primarily going to rely on a lot of word of mouth,” Casciani said. “That’s historically been the most successful.”
Seely said he is hopeful for the future of Ladies’ Night.
“There’s a lot more avenues for marketing we haven’t hit yet,” Seely said. “Once we do, I think it’ll be a regular thing people are looking for, but right now nobody is looking for it.”
According to a survey done in “Rock and Ice” magazine, in recent years 70 percent of the regular climbers in the United States are male. This statistic aligns with the TCU rock wall in that most climbers that come in are male, according to Casciani.
The rock wall is open Mondays 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Tuesdays-Thursdays 2-9 p.m., Fridays 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m.-4 p.m.