The Blues Project recruited more than 40 students to compete in a quick obstacle course Monday. The colorful bounce house, which served as the course, was 20-feet-long, complete with a wall climb and a slide as the grand finale.
“I was scooting on my way back from the library when I saw a giant bounce house,” said
Jamil Cineous,18, biological chemistry major. “I just had to find out what it was about.”
“Beat the Blues” is one of nearly a dozen events taking place this week on campus. The Blues Project, a campus peer education volunteer program, coordinated the event to raise awareness about depression among students in a fun method to overcome low spirits.
Lucy Reyes, 21, senior psychology major, joined the Blues Project two semesters ago and said the group has become her second family. Reyes said the organization brainstormed many ideas before deciding to put a bounce house behind the USU offices. The idea was that an obstacle course competition would be the best way to get endorphins running and transfer the need of physical activity to maintain a positive attitude.
“We want to emphasize exercise as a way to cope with depression,” Reyes said. “Even if (students) choose not to do the course, as long as they know why we’re doing this, that’s what’s most important to us. The obstacle course is just an added incentive.”
Many of those who participated were on their way to class and stopped by out of curiosity. The participants raced against one another trying to beat their matched-up partner and the overall best time. The quickest time for male students was slightly below eight seconds and for female participants it was a little over 13 seconds. The winners of the timed obstacle course challenge had their pictures taken and posted on Instagram.
Members from the Blues Project also participated in the quick races. Upon completing the friendly competition, participants were given pamphlets that explained how physical activity brings smiles and motivation.
Robert Williams, casual worker for the University Counceling Servives, helped the student peer educators of the organization oversee the event and keep the best times. Williams also teaches the first course of the class portion as part of the Blues Project offered to CSUN students. Williams says the organization initially wanted to include a boxing ring, but the idea was found too hazardous by the campus’ risk management.
“We teach (the students) leadership,” Williams said. “It’s a great club and today our focus is on exercise and how it can help to overcome depression.”
The event lasted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and received many visits from several students. Cineous said he is glad he stopped by and participated in the obstacle course. He is looking forward to seeing the other events the Blues Project has planned for this week.
“You only live once,” said Cineous. “You have to have fun as much as you can. Why be sad?”