At Southern Wesleyan University, the community has grown into one that enjoys hanging around. As more and more people joined the ENO Club, the more leaders on campus decided that students needed a place to go. Southern Wesleyan is a beautiful campus that has been around for over century, which means the trees on campus have grown to be huge over the years as well. They are too big and spread apart for students to be able to hang their hammocks up. In addition to that, there were only a few places on the edge of campus that were good spots for students to go. With those problems some students, but mostly our Director of Residence Life, Phil Pranger, came up with a brilliant idea.
One of Phil’s favorite places to be is outside. Through his passion for the outdoors, he has encouraged students throughout the years to join him in that passion. He thought of an idea to build an “ENO Nest.” This would be a place for students to be in community with one another while enjoying the beauty of nature. The first step was for Phil to get people on board to help him with his vision. He asked a few of the Resident Assistants, who are leaders on campus that help care for students and build community within the residence halls.
With students on board it was time to choose a location. One of the centers for community of campus is the Stuart-Bennett Residence Hall. This is the residence hall that is for the freshmen at Southern Wesleyan, so it is always very active and full of energy. There are many open places outside of the residence hall, so it would be perfect for the project.
The next step was to get the project approved by university leaders and the university’s maintenance department. There was no problem with approvable and it was time to start gathering supplies. Phil took three students to a home improvement store to purchase the lumber and cement that would be needed. They bought seven 6x6x12 wooden posts, 21 bags of cement and around 30 hooks. Some of the hooks would be used for students to clip their hammocks to and on a couple of the posts, have a place for students to hang their personal belongings on.
The Southern Wesleyan Maintenance Department began to dig the holes and set each of the posts. These posts went four feet deep with eight feet above ground. The idea was to have the seven posts with hooks on each side allowing people to clip their hammocks to. There is also the option for students to use two trees that are within the “Nest.”
After the cement had time to sit, the “ENO Nest” was ready to be used. A Facebook event got the word out about an “Opening Hangout.” The kickoff took place on April 1and more than 20 students showed up from the afternoon into the evening to all “hang” out together. Students really enjoyed this place and have continued to use it since. There is not a day that goes by without someone enjoying the beauty of the outdoors while relaxing in their ENO. over five more people have bought ENO’s since the Nest has been built and more people are continuing to order and get ENO’s! SWU is becoming an ENO campus!
Written By: Kaylee Frazier and Jonathan Stegenga
Photos By: Phil Pranger, Will Henderson, Jonathan Stegenga and Kaylee Frazier