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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

‘Deis takes to the skies

Published: October 5, 2007
Section: Sports

Generally, people are used to hearing about ordinary (yet still exceptional) sports such as baseball and basketball, but sometimes it is interesting to take a different path, to learn about the uncommon. Among such unusual clubs offered at Brandeis, there is the Skydiving and Future Endeavors Club, a group committed, according to its constitution, to facilitating the skydiving experience for all Brandeis students and whose main goal is to provide knowledge and guidance for all prospective, novice, and advanced skydivers, as well as to provide multiple opportunities for students to skydive during both semesters, weather permitting.

If you have ever dreamed, even in the back of your mind, of moving through the air like a bird or merely have wanted to jump from 13,500 feet with nothing between you and the ground, but the exhilarating rush of air, this is the perfect club.

Dana Padgett 08, the current president, who has helped lead the group since her sophomore year, finds a true sense of enjoyment in both her ability to help others achieve their goal of skydiving as well as her own personal desires. Putting it in her own words, she explains the purpose of the club is to make the awesome experience of skydiving more affordable to college students. The amount of subsidy depends on how much we receive from the Finance Board, of course, but this semester we were very luckywe got an all-time high in funding.

This semester, the club will be able to send fifty students for a cost of fifty dollars eachto put this in perspective, a normal tandem skydive at the host site, Jumptown, costs $215. In fact, the group discount puts the cost at $185;

what could be a better deal for the chance of a lifetime?

The first meeting of the year, near the beginning of the semester, is an informational session, in which prospective members learn about the jump site and what to expect on the day of the jump. All questions and concerns that people have are also addressed. The overall process begins with students signing up to join the club. Those who are particularly interested, submit a $50 deposit, along with three possible dates on which they would be able to attend a jump. Although it requires much hard work and commitment, Padgett then compiles all the information and organizes the dates properly.

All the jumps take place at Jumptown, in Orange, Massachusetts (about an hour west of Brandeis). Prior to the jump, there is a short training session, where the instructors discuss the proper falling position, the equipment used, and other necessary facts.

And for those who are somewhat nervous for safety reasons? Rest assured, as all the equipment is military grade and was designed to support conditions beyond those experienced during a common skydive. The actual jump only takes about forty-five to sixty seconds followed by a five to ten minute period under canopy, when the chute opens and the beauty of the world below from a truly unique and rare perspective can be seen.

So, for those who seek a new adventure or want to gain a memorable experience, find out more about the club and join before the fifty person quota is filledbelieve me, you dont want to miss such an opportunity. As Nathan Hakimi 11, who recently signed up for his first skydive, expressed his anticipation, Im a little nervous, but really, jumping out of a plane has pretty much been one of my life-long dreams. So, I have to say that Im really looking forward to it.