Charlotte Jenkins, MTU Ice Skate Rental Program

A young woman, Charlotte Jenkins, in a line drawing with rainbow colored hair, glasses, and a smilte.

Charlotte’s portrait by fellow Husky Meg Rotele.

“Ice skating is a winter activity that every Michigan Tech student should be able to experience and enjoy, and a skill every Husky should have by the time they graduate. It also provides a great way for students to be physically and socially active on campus. Recognizing this, MacInnes Student Ice Arena provides open ice time and learn-to-skate programs. These opportunities are wonderful for those who have their own skates, but sadly leaves those without their own equipment, or the means to purchase it, sitting on the bench.

In January 2021, the Michigan Tech community lost Charlotte Jenkins, an undergraduate student and resident assistant in East McNair and active member of our community. Almost immediately after receiving this difficult news, students shared stories of Charlotte’s impact. One oft-repeated anecdote was how Charlotte embraced and involved others, often inviting them to go ice skating. Invariably, she would discover someone didn’t have skates, so she would stop by her room or her car and produce a pair of skates just their size.

Charlotte loved winter sports and never wanted to leave anyone out of the fun, and since there were no skates available at the rink, she purchased them in a variety of sizes and kept them on hand for others. As news of Charlotte’s passing spread, so did the realization that Charlotte’s skate borrowing program would be sorely missed, and so emerged the idea for creating a skate rental program in the Student Development Complex in her honor.

Organizations across the community have come together to pool their resources to make this program a reality. Contributions have come from a variety of sources, including the Undergraduate Student Government, the Inter Residence Housing Council, the Wadsworth Hall Student Association, the McNair Housing Association, Residence Education and Housing Services, Physical Education, the Michigan Tech Parents Fund, the Charlotte Jenkins Memorial Fund and many others.

Of the $63,000 projected cost, including the purchase of skates and helmets, $55,000 has been secured, enabling renovation work on the ice level of the MacInnes Student Ice Arena, just a few dozen feet from the entrance to the rink. This space, which was used as a concession stand in the past, is perfect due to its proximity to the rink and size. Completely revamped, it’s ready to be opened for the fall 2021 semester, beginning on MTU Family Weekend, Oct. 1.

The diverse committee leading this effort represents each part of our community and welcomes your involvement. Please join us at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 at MacInnes Student Ice Arena for the dedication of the Skate Rental Program. This event will feature free rentals and open skating to all who attend. Program sponsors will also say a few words to dedicate the program in honor of both Charlotte and Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame inductee Cheryl DePuydt, well-known for her many contributions to both campus and community.

Charlotte S. Jenkins 2000-2021 patch with hockey stick and skates
Tax-deductible donations can be made directly to Michigan Tech at mtu.edu/givenow — reference the Charlotte Jenkins Fund. Students have also created patches and stickers like this one available for purchase via Venmo or Paypal. For details email norcross@me.com

Once complete, the facility will be a well-designed storefront capable of storing more than 300 pairs of skates and helmets with one or two staff members to efficiently serve skaters. The flooring between the space and the rink will be covered in a durable rubber material to provide traction for wearers and protection for the skates. Skate rentals will be $5 for students and community members for an open skate or student skate session. Helmets will also be offered free of charge to all individuals using the rink, even if they don’t need to rent skates. The facility will offer on-site sharpening for $5 during year one, allowing those who currently own skates to get their pairs sharpened before, during, and after their trip to the rink.”

–The Skate Rental Program at MacInnes Student Ice Arena Committee, inspired by Charlotte Jenkins

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