Emerson gets ballsy

by Nathanael King / Beacon Staff • September 17, 2015

Although the nearest Chuck E. Cheese is in Everett, students don’t need to hop on the T to enjoy a good ol’ ball pit.

Emerson’s recently acquired ball pit—a portable, wood-framed, glass­-paneled structure filled with 5,000 gold and purple plastic balls—was highlighted at a semesterly celebration called Palooza on Sept. 10. The pit made its debut at Senior Day last spring.

Joshua Hamlin, director of the Campus Center, and Jason Meier, director of Student Activities, are credited with the ball pit idea. The duo originally wanted to fill an entire room with these colored balls for a single event, but Hamlin said enormous cost barriers quickly shut down that plan.

The Emerson facilities department eventually built the structure, and the balls were purchased from 21st Century Products Inc., a company specializing in the production of ball pit balls. According to Hamlin, the final cost of the construction and purchase rounded out to approximately $1,500, funded by the campus center and student activities.

The pit is the joint property of these two departments, including Emerson Mane Events, a student-run organization that coordinates events for the entertainment and edification of students.

Hamlin said as a sanitation measure, only two people are allowed in the pit at the same time, with no food, drinks, or shoes and a time limit of approximately two minutes. The balls are also disinfected between events.

Michael Castellon, a freshman visual and media arts major, found the ball pit a place for relaxation.

"It was easy to just sink in and have all these balls encompass you," he said.

Others, like sophomore visual and media arts major Lauren Brill, came looking for a challenge.

“There is no solid ground in the ball pit,” Brill said. Even without a floor, she would return, “I think we'll have to do round two.”

Deputy News Editor Martha Schick contributed to the writing of this article.