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Emma Fenton senior biomedical engineering major who works a a lifeguard at the rec center prepares the pool for the season. 

East Carolina University’s Campus Recreation and Wellness program will host multiple pool parties in order to celebrate the end of the semester and promote student wellness from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 21, April 28 and May 5 at the outdoor pool located at the Eakin Student Recreation Center. 

Coordinator of Aquatics and Risk Management at ECU Adrianna Del Amo said she created this event in order to increase the number of students that use the pools and also the diversity of students that use the pools. 

“It’s been my mission to try and provide new and exciting opportunities to introduce people from all walks of life to our aquatics space,” Del Amo said. 

She said in order to promote diversity, the ECU aquatics department partnered with Campus Recreation and Wellness Fitness department and DJ High Demand, who DJ'ed the Polar Plunge in January. All three pool parties will have an outdoor Zumba class from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m., which will be taught by ECU graduate student Kiara Robins.

Del Amo said there will also be a safe drinking session on all of the dates, hosted by the Wellness Department of Campus Recreation and Wellness, where students can be informed on how to consume alcohol safely. Del Amo said she plans to spread the word through the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center and the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center in order to promote diversity. 

“I am trying to educate our membership that the pool is not just for swimming or working out, you can go to the pool to just have fun or just hang out on the deck,” Del Amo said. “Sometimes the pool is a scary place for someone so hopefully with these positive connections, they can associate the pool with not as scary as a place.” 

Del Amo said she hopes this event can become an annual event. She said a similar event has taken place before, called PoolSide Vibes, which took place in August 2021. That event was also a series of pool parties for students. 

The overall mission is to “provide wellness opportunities for our students,” Del Amo said. She said she wants to give students a chance to decompress as final exams and the end of the semester draw near. 

Assistant Director of Facilities and Aquatics Outreach at ECU Justin Waters said it's important to give everyone an equal opportunity to become comfortable around the water in a safe environment. 

“This is a great opportunity to have an event that is more of a party, and it is a party; it’s a party with a purpose,” Waters said. “The purpose is to get people acclimated to the water if they haven’t been in the past.” 

Waters said he thinks it’s important for students to have an outlet with the stress of school and being a young adult. He said the goal is to have students be in tune with their social, physical and emotional well being, and events like this pool party are what encourages that goal. 

The safe drinking event will have common party drinking games, Waters said, such as “beer pong.” Waters said it will emphasize on what ECU calls “party with a purpose.” He said they will discuss how much alcohol is in a beer versus a shot of alcohol and how to be the safest they can be. 

“It’s also a time to celebrate, it's the end of the semester and people are graduating and summer is coming up,” Waters said. “With people studying and nonstop getting ready for finals, we want to have an event for students to decompress and work on some self-wellbeing.” 

Coordinator of Fitness at ECU Kate Freed said her role for the pool party is to be in charge of the behind the scenes of the Zumba class that will be open for students. She said she is excited because they are planning to sync up the music for the Zumba class to the DJ’s mix, so it will be loud enough for everyone to hear. 

Freed said she is in charge of the group fitness classes at ECU on a day-to-day basis. She said they hold around 50 classes per week between the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center and the Health Sciences Campus Recreation Center.  

“I always love events like this that we are able to do, where we can really have all of our departments and areas from Campus Rec and Wellness come together and show kind of the things we’re really proud of and bring it all together for our students,” Freed said. 

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