A beloved campus feature—the swing in the grove—returned this week just in time for Family Weekend thanks to the efforts of engineering majors from the campus organization Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) who devoted several hours to the project.
The swing was first constructed on campus several years ago, but broke in 2014. It was rebuilt with hemp rope, but subsequently broke again. Ryan Harris, senior engineering major, saw a need he knew he and his friends could meet. He petitioned Senate for $175 of funding and then set to work Saturday constructing a new swing. It took a few hours and six trips to Lowes, but soon the swing was back.
“I knew we could do it, we just needed the funding from Senate,” he said. “We were more than willing to help out, but we didn’t want to spend our own money.”
Not only is the swing back, but it’s sturdier than ever. According to the senate bill, IEEE’s goal was to build a swing that would last for 10 years. The chain the group used to hold it up is sturdy enough to hold a small car, and the wood is reinforced and able to hold more weight than ever before. As a result, Harris said he’s hopeful it will last much longer this time.
“It should be pretty hard for it to break again. I think the first thing to break before the chain or the wood would actually be the branch,” he said.
It’s not the first swing Harris has constructed this semester. He put several up in Heritage buildings, and after that friends begin suggesting he tackle rebuilding the swing in the grove. He said he was happy to do it and hopes the Union community enjoys having it back on campus.
There has been no shortage of students on the swing this past week, and several students expressed excitement that it was back.
“It’s so awesome that the swing is back,” junior public relations major Kaylee Gibson said. “We should build a whole grove of swings.”