Dorm-ridden students should make their way to the BBC

The Bowling and Billiard Center is the perfect place to go to get out without really having to leave

More stories from Sam Farley


Photo by Sam Farley

League member Joe Woznicki sliding on the approach at the Bowling and Billiard Center

Any student living in the dorms knows that being confined to campus boundaries can be tough at times, especially when you aren’t quite as close to that car-owning friend as you’d like to be.

Is there any hope at all for these sheltered residents?

Fortunately, there is. The Eau Claire Transit bus system allows us to expand our outreach into the city for a price college students can actually afford —  it’s free.

However, perhaps the more accurate cost is your sanity. Trying to locate the correct, ever-elusive bus to Oakwood Mall — there are three to choose from — while frantically attempting to navigate their mobile site on your limited data plan can make you want to forget the Chipotle run and settle for the caf for the sixth time that week.

So much for wanting to be a world traveler.

Luckily for lazy, bus-discouraged students like me, there is a refuge and it is in the last place you would think to look: right here on campus.

As you take your walk of shame to the caf, proceed a few steps further into the Hilltop Center until you hear the explosion of bowling pins, the sharp crack of breaking in billiards and the high-pitched blending of your favorite Freshens smoothie. Then, voilà, you have reached the Bowling and Billiard Center (BBC).

Indeed, this facility has much to offer, but its most valuable aspect is simply its existence as a recreational getaway for on-campus students.

If you’ve ever lived on upper campus you can verify the hill is an unfortunate yet undeniable hindrance to participation in lower campus activities. Especially during the winter season when club meetings you are only semi-interested in, social activities on Water Street or extracurricular events at Haas Fine Arts Center or Zorn Arena are put on the back burner.

Consequently, on-campus residents are forced into a kind of social hibernation in which they drastically reduce their time spent walking outdoors, although understandable. And with the crisp Chippewa River flowing nearby to make matters more chilling it is nevertheless imperative that we get out of our dens and have those unique experiences that can further our self-development and exploration.

Thus, for those of you who find yourselves confined to your 16-by-11 foot living space, perhaps the BBC is a realistic destination for you.

As a competitive bowler in high school, I frequent this center quite often. It offers 12 lanes — more than any other on-campus alley in the state of Wisconsin and still, they go largely unnoticed by many students.

The BBC is a resource for those attending Eau Claire and it should be utilized more often than it is. Since my arrival at this university bowling leagues have had a maximum of three teams and the second session was cancelled because only one team signed up. The billiard leagues have achieved similar results with only a handful of participants in total.

It is easy to get caught up in studies or succumb to another night of binge-watching Netflix in the dorm. However, if you find yourself looking for a change of scenery, the BBC is the place to go.