Posted March 2, 2012 by Tiffany Moffo Simpson 

ACUI Region 1 Recreation Tournament Recap

Sean Clayton studied the shiny eight ball carefully. Then with a quick stroke of the billiard cue, the ball rolled swiftly across the table toward its rightful hole and sunk into the pocket. Clayton won the ACUI Region 1 Recreation Tournament, featuring billiards and table tennis.Region1-1 

For the second consecutive year, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) students had the opportunity to experience the ACUI Region 1 Recreation Tournament. The CCSU Student Center hosted the tournament in the Breakers Game Room and Semesters, Feb. 4. Top Region 1 students participated in the tournament, which included 9-ball, table tennis, and video games. 

Clayton led CCSU to victory and won 10 rounds of men’s 9-ball. As finalists, Clayton and Zhi Li, who won the table tennis tournament and is from University of Massachusetts–Boston, qualify for the ACUI international tournaments to be held later this year. Eric Spiewak and Paul Nguyen, both of the University of Massachusetts–Boston, placed second and third in men’s 9-ball.

Clayton won the Breakers billiard tournament, which qualified him for the Region 1 competition. He said he enjoyed his Region 1 experience. “All in all a good time,” he said.

Clayton said he visits the Breakers Game Room about once each day for fun and to relieve stress from his long commute. 

Region1-3“I am into puzzles, and pool is like a puzzle,” said Clayton. “There is [always] a different pattern to follow.”

Frank Colaninno, CCSU games room operations manager, coordinated the 2011 and 2012 billiards portion of the ACUI Region 1 Recreation Tournament. He said that billiards is his favorite part of the Region 1 competition. 

“It’s such an intense event,” Colaninno said. “You sit on the edge of your seat, and it’s exciting for everyone watching.”

Meanwhile, Li took home the gold for table tennis, while his peer John Kerpan took home the silver. 

Li said his father, who is a professional player in China, taught him how to play table tennis. He’s the one who “got me to love the game,” said Li. "[I] sometimes plays table tennis for fun and have played for 15 years.”

He organized a table tennis tournament at his university, which qualified him for the Region 1 competition.

Mike Makoski, associate director of operations at Fitchburg State University, is the driving force behind the ACUI international recreation program and is completing his third year as the Recreation and Leisure Program chair. 

As stated on the ACUI website, “collegiate championship tournaments are designed to contribute to the social, physical, mental, and emotional development of students and professionals. ACUI further promotes its core value of community through its recreation and leisureRegion1-2 activities program. This is one of the longest running programs in the Association's history.” 

Based on his experience, Makoski said students who participate in these tournaments are not your “traditional student leaders on campus. They are not your traditional program board [members], Student Government Association [members], student employees, and resident advisors. [They] go to the games room as an outlet [because the union] is the living room [of campus]. It’s the core of what we do.”

Unfortunately, this year’s Region 1 competition had a low turnout. Makoski said one way to revitalize the program is to get more colleges and universities involved.

“If every school in Region 1 sends one student, we would have one of the largest tournaments in the country,” he said.


Tiffany Moffo Simpson

Tiffany Moffo Simpson is the Assistant Director for Student Center Services at Central Connecticut State University.

Tiffany manages the Student Center’s student employment program at Central Connecticut State University and supervises graduate interns who are responsible for managing the Information Desk, Reception Desk, and Breakers Game Room, as well as an administrative faculty member who supervises Tech Services. At CCSU, she is also the Student Conduct Board hearing officer and chair, co-advisor to the Society of Professional Journalists, and Media Board member. She also serves as communications coordinator on ACUI’s Region VIII Leadership Team. Tiffany graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s in corporate communication and obtained a master’s in educational leadership with a concentration in student development in higher education from CCSU.


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