On Tuesday evening, the IU Natatorium was filled for a competition between student organizations called Battleships. The event was hosted by Jagathon: IUPUI’s Dance Marathon, to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children. Around 250 spectators attended the event.
Teams of three or four faced each other in steel canoes, using a plastic bucket to strike fear in the hearts of their opponents. With buckets in hand, each team scooped water from the natatorium, and heaved it into opposing canoes to try and sink them. The victors moved on to the next round of the tournament. For a ten dollar donation, spectators could help their team sink the other canoe by splashing water from the sidelines with a bucket of their own.
Seth Harris, A junior majoring in biology at IUPUI and a regular at campus events, was there to cheer on “Tower Power,” a team composed of his fellow residential assistants at University Tower, Connor Hugo, Gabby Weaver, Haley Vickers, and Kyle Poland.‘My experience has been great so far,” Harris said. “Tower Power won their first bout and I hope to see them keep winning. I will keep cheering, clapping, and hopefully lose my voice.”
Seth went to Battleships last year, so he was familiar with the event. “This year as an RA I was tasked to advertise for campus events, primarily posting posters around and getting the word out,” he said. “Which is how most students found out about Battleships in housing.” Last year he was in the Hall Councils, now called the Housing Leadership Experience, or HLE, which oversees the planning of campus events. He was particularly excited about the “Flick and Float Event,” where students were able to sit in the deep end of the IU Natatorium pool and watch a movie.
Overall, Harris felt that this year’s Battleships was, “a pretty solid event.” When asked if he would like to see anything changed next year, he said, “lowering the cost of buckets from ten dollars to five dollars, that would make more people want to do it, especially on a campus that is going more and more cashless,” although he admitted that they were able to donate through Venmo as well.
Anyone was able to sign up to compete in the event, according to Harris, “It simply took a group of four. Three people in a boat and one alternate person to switch out if anyone gets tired,” Harris said. “You don’t even have to know how to swim. They give you a life vest, which is really nice, because two of our team members are not very water–oriented.”
This weekend, the annual IUPUI Regatta canoe race will be held on the downtown canal. For anyone interested in joining or volunteering for future events like Battleships, feel free to reach out to Allie Havens, the President of Jagathon: IUPUI’s Dance Marathon, at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow this link.
Berto Millan (he/him) is a junior majoring in Applied Theatre, Film, And Television. He is a writer, film critic, and film historian for The Campus Citizen.