The term “Ladies’ Night” takes on a new meaning at the University Recreation Center’s rock climbing wall, where once a month women can ditch their high heels and dresses and climb the wall in an especially female-friendly environment.
Mackenzie Wilson, a senior anthropology major who manages the climbing wall, said the event was created to promote increased female participation at the wall.
With music, snack munching and girl talk filling the air, students took to the wall in a laid-back atmosphere and embraced a sport Wilson said is not always popular with women.
“There’s a stigma that goes along with climbing that it’s really masculine, [but] it’s not,” she said.
On an average day at the wall, one might see a handful of men climbing in intense silence. Since the first Ladies’ Night was held last March, Wilson said the average turnout for the monthly event has been around 30 women.
Steve Campbell, assistant director of Campus Recreation for outdoor programs, said the ultimate goal is to encourage women to regularly attend the climbing wall – not just on Ladies’ Night.
“Everyone’s welcome at the wall, all the time. We’re hoping through this type of event people see what we have to offer [at the Rec Center],” Campbell said.
International student Rebekka Bischof said she has been rock climbing since she was four years old, and is an avid climber at the Rec Center wall.
“Sometimes [women] are a bit more ashamed to try out. They don’t like the risk and they don’t like that people are watching when they’re climbing,” she said.
She said she attended her first Ladies’ Night event on Sept.11, and is already excited to participate again next month.
Currently, Ladies’ Night at the wall is the only exclusively female Campus Recreation program. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.