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Bruin Fun Zone brings classic games, entertainment to Ackerman Union

(Eden Yu/Daily Bruin)

By Christine Kao

Sept. 29, 2022 10:59 p.m.

A new recreational space filled with bright, illuminated LED lights and arcade games has arrived at Ackerman Union.

Associated Students UCLA introduced the space – called the Bruin Fun Zone – this September, said Patricia Solomon, director of ASUCLA student union services. The zone is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Solomon added, and features various computer and tabletop games including arcade machines, giant UNO cards, Jenga, table tennis and foosball, in addition to arts and crafts materials at no cost to students.

Solomon said the Fun Zone came about as part of an effort to expand recreational options for Bruins on campus, existing alongside events such as Wellness Wednesdays – weekly decompression activities hosted in Kerckhoff Art Gallery – and movie nights.

“What I envision is where campus becomes community,” Solomon said. “How can we bring students together and have a place where they can unwind and relax in between classes and just have fun and be able to meet one another and have a good time?”

Solomon also said her favorite part about the zone is witnessing students gathering and exploring different facilities. Christina Manuel, ASUCLA’s communications specialist, said she hopes for the site to create long-lasting memories for students.

Alejandro Martin-Cruz, a fourth-year communication student, said he had been anticipating the zone’s launch ever since he noticed its construction in Ackerman Union. As someone who is interested in retro-style activities, Martin-Cruz said it was amazing to see arcade machines that carry classic games such as Pac-Man live on in the Fun Zone.

The site offers a relaxing environment while fostering opportunities for students to build community, Martin-Cruz said, adding that he enjoys the entertainment options that can’t be found in dorms on the Hill.

Cat Clement, a first-year law student who had played a game of Mortal Kombat against her friend in the Fun Zone, said she was intrigued by the place when she spotted its arcade machine. The Fun Zone allows the UCLA community to hang out and decompress, Clement added.

Third-year linguistics student Alexandria Zarko said they tried out several games in the room after walking by and enjoyed the basketball arcade and foosball table.

“As long as it’s used properly, it’d be a great way to de-stress,” Zarko said. “I think it’s going to really come in clutch right before finals.”

Solomon said her team referred to the popular services from ASUCLA’s Summer in the Union program to decide what to place in the Bruin Fun Zone. She added that her team will collect feedback from the UCLA community, as the zone is set to acquire more facilities as an evolving space.

“With a space like this, you can only imagine the student groups that are going to come together,” Manuel said. “We just want to be able to provide the best services, products, programs, even facilities for students.”

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Christine Kao | Photographer
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