May 2, 1996 in Idaho

This Nic Offering Is All Fun And Games

By The Spokesman-Review

For the past two Friday nights, the North Idaho College gym has echoed with the sound of volleyball players and basketball competition.

There were card tables, soft drinks, Twister games and Paul Manzardo with a smile on his face.

It was Manzardo, NIC’s recreational sports coordinator, who threw open the doors for a party.

“The whole idea was to give students an alternative to the bar scene,” he said this week as he planned another “Natural High.”

Similar to large universities, this lakeside two-year college sees the effects of underage drinking and overimbibing.

In one highly publicized 1994 NIC incident, a wrestler died after drinking at least 12 shots of alcohol at a party.

The National Intramural Recreation Sports Association came up with the “Natural High” idea. When Manzardo took his job last year, he was aware that Idaho was the only state in which no college offered one of the events.

He made NIC the first to do so.

About 140 people attended the April events. There’s plenty of room for more. A third “Natural High” is planned for 9 p.m. to midnight May 10. Manzardo plans to repeat the events next school year.

About 75 percent of those who attended in April were students. But faculty and staff are welcome, and no one is turned away, Manzardo said.

“I encouraged NIC students to bring a friend,” he said. “The friend didn’t have to be a student.”

A non-alcoholic bar and a relaxed atmosphere are part of the “Natural High.”

“There are athletes, non-athletes, students who are kind of timid and want to play,” Manzardo said. “A lot of people take other people under their wings. No one gets excluded.”

, DataTimes

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