Downhillers popularity surges despite poor snow conditions

Downhillers popularity surges despite poor snow conditions

By Liz Ratto

Neither sun, rain nor warm temperatures have stopped the relentless march to the slopes. The NU Downhillers’ ranks have grown larger than ever this year, despite a year of poor conditions and limited snow.

The club, started in the late 1960s, has typically not been a huge draw for students, said Eric Blomquist, Downhillers president. He said all that changed this year, however, and the group has gone from not filling trips to turning people away.

Blomquist, a senior computer science major, said he and other members have worked on marketing the club this year and building on past membership.

“We’ve been a lot more proactive as far as getting people informed early this year,” he said.

The Downhillers have gotten the word out through signs around campus as well as their Web site, www.nudownhillers.neu.edu.

Their mailing list, set up through the site, has grown to over 700 addresses since summer alone. Both advertising methods seem to be working for the club, as its 94-person trips are filling to capacity this semester, Blomquist said. They also placed signs in the quads and throughout campus to gain as much recognition as possible.

“I found out because they put fliers in our mailboxes,” said Yasmeen Ramadan, a middler marketing major in her second year as a Downhiller.

Ramadan said the club is handling this season’s jump in attendance well.

“I think they do a great job organizing the trips and were a little better prepared to schedule more buses this year,” she said.

Blomquist said when the trips were less popular, the staff would hold office hours for sign-ups throughout the week. Now, they have been asked to move their operations out of the Curry Student Center and into Snell classrooms to avoid the congestion they create.

“The line to get the tickets was huge,” said Konnie Enriquez, a freshman undecided major. “The line was all the way down the hall and wrapped around the corner

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