Game tables serve up fun in the Student Center

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Foosball is one of the new game options available in the Student Center on the St. Paul campus. Students can check out game equipment at the security desk and play on one of three large gaming tables. (Emilie Peck / The Metropolitan)


The Student Center on Metropolitan State University’s St. Paul campus has three new game tables available for students to use: ping-pong, foosball and shuffleboard. The ping-pong and foosball tables are in the cafeteria area, and the shuffleboard table is in the Fireplace Lounge. 

According to Carrie Noble, student organizations and activities coordinator for Student Life and Leadership Development (SLLD), they were installed to encourage students to relax with their friends on campus.

All three were paid for as a package deal with University Activities Board (UAB) funds. Installed this summer, SLLD staff is still waiting to see how popular the tables are. Student organizations are welcome to incorporate them into their events, and students are welcome to use them to unwind during study breaks or after class.

To check out equipment, students must notify security personnel which table they’d like to use, hand over their student IDs in exchange for equipment, and write down their information in a check-in binder. 

By checking out game equipment, students agree not to damage it. When they are finished using the equipment, it will be inspected before their student IDs are returned. According to Philip Fuehrer, assistant director of SLLD, if there is accidental damage or if there are signs of usual wear and tear, there will be no repercussions for students. 

However, Fuehrer said that “damage deemed to be purposeful or excessively negligent” will result in consequences, depending on what happened and the damage extent. Punishments range from being banned from equipment usage for a limited time to paying for game table repair or replacement.

If other students are waiting to use a table, there is a preferred play limit of one hour. When no one is waiting, students can use the tables as long as they’d like, provided they check in with security every hour. Even though game tables are designed for multiple players, only one student needs to check out equipment at a time. The shuffleboard table also includes instructions on how to play the game.

According to Noble, the tables have been very well used so far, with foosball being the most popular of the three new tables over the summer. Because summer enrollment isn’t as high, SLLD is still waiting to see how well received the games are before adding more.

Although the tables have been used by many students already, not everyone is interested in them. Abdulkhaaliq Farah, a social work major in his first year, doubts he’d use those types of games. Instead, he has more interest in trivia, problem-solving games that involve social problems, and sliding puzzles.

SLLD sends out a survey at the end of every semester for students to give input. Included in those surveys are questions about what services students would like to see added to the Student Center, and what SLLD can do to provide a better environment for the university. Students are encouraged to fill those surveys out each semester.