Downtown campus and Downtown Phoenix Partnership find ways to engage students

Pop Up Park, an event hosted in downtown Phoenix each Friday during the school year, gives students a place to de-stress after a long school week.

Modeled after Pop Up Park at CityScape and created by Downtown campus officials and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, the event is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Civic Space Park and includes a variety of group games for students.

Elizabeth Smith, outreach director for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Vice Provost Office, said the Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors, who hosts the event, welcome and engage student attendees.

The ambassadors work with the DPP, which oversees growth in the downtown area.

The team attended student orientations earlier in the year to fully understand what type of activities ASU students would enjoy.

Attendees can play football, badminton, a beanbag toss, Jenga and board games, Smith said.

Smith said the event, which is still in development, was soft launched Friday in order to measure students’ reception.

DPP Community Services director Samantha Jackson said students showed interest in Pop Up Park at the Friday launch.

“The soft launch was successful in the fact that people came out and asked what was going on,” Jackson said. “It was a good way to spread the word.”

Jackson said instead of hiring a disk jockey for the event, students can choose their own music.

“ASU students can be guest DJs with their iPods,” Jackson said. “They can make it their own thing.”

She said these kind of events show the versatility of downtown Phoenix spaces.

“We’re trying to let students know that being in downtown Phoenix is fun,” Jackson said.

Smith said such events also connect students to other parts of the Downtown campus.

“There is a lot of activity around campus, and Civic Space Park can become a throughway between the main part of campus and the (Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA) and the post office,” Smith said.


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