Late night domino game a WUC staple

Haytham Al-Rabeah/Contributing Writer

The domino games in the Panther Square of the Wolfe University Center at Biscayne Bay Campus have been an ongoing case of interest among those familiar with the area. From the initial players to students and even administrators, the Panther Square domino games have caught the interest of many.

According to some members, the games began several years ago when a group of friends began to gather around in Panther Square to have fun. Staff and students would gather after hours to play the game and discuss intense topics, such as football, which is a staple crop for the gang.

It all startrf at the WUC information desk, which, according to Omar Tolbert, has a set of dominoes and is in the habit of lending them out. Although, the community desk is a main source of dominoes, they also claim that there are other sources around.

According to most of the players at the table, the games usually start at around 5:30 p.m., when the offices close and the buzz and bustle of activities and students cools off in Panther Square. Apparently, once the games start, they may close only when the doors of the building close, although, according to frequent players, in most cases the games usually close at 11 p.m.

One frequent player states that this phenomenon has been going on for “at least a year and a half.” Although it started with a bunch of friends, the group has seen an increase in staff and student involvement. The group acknowledges that there is increasing appeal to students who pass by after peak hours.

Concerns have been expressed by some of the working domino players about administrative run-ins. Since many players in fact bare the FIU emblem on their uniforms as employees of the University, administrators have also taken notice of their employees’ involvement in these after hour domino games. It does not stop there, however, as some players who work more closely with administration join games from time to time, causing rifts in the offices if they get recognized after hours.

This is different, however, from the concerns of FIU employees being recognized by their uniforms, and being indiscernible as being on or off the clock at the time of play.

The students-turned-staff began playing these games off the clock, to blow off steam and have fun after work. However, with the new attention of students, administrators and other staff members, these players see a future that insists on a move.

With the increase of student appeal, the group is hoping that the games would eventually pass into new game room that has been built, but yet-to-be officially revealed, on the second floor of the WUC. The game room, they hope, will provide a safe environment for staff not on the clock and space for the increased flow of students interested in playing the game.

When asked about where he sees these games going, Tolbert says he sees the possibility of more open gaming for the students-turned-staff, some of which still study at FIU. He also hopes for increased student led activities, such as domino tournaments and possibly even a student-run club.

“I can see tournaments happening,” Tolbert said. “I say it’s just matter of time.”

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