Not Wind Nor Snow: Jephson Is Ready for Dome Season
On Thursday, the Bulletin tracked down Jack Jephson, Director of Intramurals and Recreation, to chat about the Dome and the new season of Intramurals and Recreation. After a long week, which included assisting in the resurrection of the Dome, overseeing an epic three-hour Matball game benefiting the Special Olympics, and scheduling a jam-packed inventory of activities for the next several months, Jephson is looking slightly drowsy. However, when asked about upcoming student activities and events, behind his five o’clock shadow appears a beaming smile, revealing satisfaction, resolute energy and genuine passion for his role on campus. The long hours have paid off.
Anything worth doing requires effort and Dome season is no different. From maintenance to scheduling events, the Dome is a 24/7 responsibility. To secure and ensure its structural integrity in high-wind conditions and snow, Jephson is on call at all hours with the dedicated members of Arcadia’s Facilities Department (Aramark) to tie down or dig out the dome. So while the Arcadia Community gears up for the Luau to kick off the official Dome season, Jephson’s mind isn’t on sun and sand, he’s mentally preparing for facing the elements of fall and winter weather.
“A lot of the students thank me on a regular basis—but it’s not just me, it’s a group effort,” says Jephson. “It’s the student staff, it’s Athletics, Student Engagement partnering with us, and Facilities for helping us get everything there and running the events with me, as well as actually putting up the Dome.”
Throughout this semester, all the way to winter break, Intramurals will hold a full weekly schedule. To kick off the festivities, Intramurals will feature Dome Week, a full lineup of activities which will includes ultimate Frisbee, flag football, wiffle ball, the annual quidditch tournament and more. To wrap up the week, Jephson is rolling out Class Wars, where first-years, sophomores, juniors and seniors will face off at a wide variety of rivalry games such as tug of war, three-legged races, and water balloon toss.
“We’re not looking to do the average D-III program of intramurals, we’re looking to create a D-I atmosphere of programming at Arcadia because it will enhance the campus experience of our current and future students,” says Jephson.
Celebrating his first anniversary of being part of the Arcadia community, Jephson reflects on his experiences, noting that the greatest reward has been building relationships with students and giving students, athletes or non-athletes, a forum in which to have fun. “It’s great watching students grow and build relationships with people they might not normally build relationships with; just because we gave them a place to go and have fun in any sport they choose.”
But Intramurals and Recreation isn’t just about fun (though it’s always the end result), it’s also about giving back to the community and supporting worthy causes. That’s why last Saturday, after Arcadia students returned from the Walk to End Domestic Violence, Jephson hosted a matball game to benefit the Special Olympics, donating $1 for every run scored. The event was so popular it lasted three hours and raised more than $50. In December, Jephson is planning to team up with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to host a winter semi-formal event to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation.
“Since President Oxholm has come to Arcadia, he’s been a huge supporter of not only athletics but also the intramurals program—two areas he’s very passionate about,” Jephson says. “His support of both me and the program has just been so welcoming. He’s recognized the need of an intramurals and his support, along with the rest of the campus’ support, is what will make our intramurals program rival any major university here in the Country.”
Always looking to make the intramurals program bigger and better, Jephson notes his open door policy is in full effect. “Students’ ideas, opinions and suggestions are always welcome.”