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Underground undergoes format change

September 9, 2011

Over the past decade the area located below Grier Hall, known as the Underground, has seen several different formats for students. Within the past couple of years the Underground has been a place where students could enjoy coffee drinks and purchase food with flex dollars. After a lack of utilization from students in recent years the Underground has revamped once again into an activities lounge where students are encouraged to sit back and relax in a comfortable environment.

“The goal of the new format is to provide regularly planned activities for students later in the evening, while increasing traffic in the Underground,” Dean Karen Ogorzalek said.

Also new to the format will be the Underground Program series, or UP. With support from groups such as ASAP and other co-sponsorship of events on campus, a coordination of programs designed for students to take place in the Underground will be planned throughout the year.

Senior Jennifer Wheeler who is also involved with ASAP is currently interning with Ogorzalek planning campus events and one of her tasks was to create events for the Underground programming.

“There have been discussions about locations for students to have activities later in the evening for the past year.  The combination of student interest and wanting to increase the usage of the space was the impetus for the creation of the new Underground Program series,” Ogorzalek said.

The UP plans to keep a regular schedule on campus held each month, hoping only to change due to breaks and holidays.  The first Tuesday of every month is designated to themed trivia, the first Friday will be themed bingo, the second Thursday of every month a Coffeehouse and the last Friday will be tabletop games as well as complimentary food. It is also planned that through the semester the UP will host improv nights hosted by The Marauders and poetry reading by Sulci. Events are planned to run from 9 p.m. to midnight giving students the option to come and go at their leisure.

“Whether their [students] class schedule is hectic, family, or work is stressing them out, they will be able to know that an UP event is coming up that week and they can feel at ease,” Wheeler said. “Because of the nature of the UP events, a simple Trivia night can give someone the stress reliever that they needed to get through the rest of the week.”

Some evenings activities will include the option of purchasing food with flex dollars and some that are even free to students. Soda is always free to students and coffee items are also available for purchase.

Already this year the Underground Program series teamed up with the Table Top Gaming Club and ASAP providing students with free root beer floats as well as games provided by TTGC. The program drew in nearly 45 students, perfect for the space available in the Underground.

“I hope that this is something that continues even after I graduate and it something that I can come back someday and be proud that I was able to be a part of something like Underground Programs,” Wheeler added.

Any student organization that is interested in cosponsoring any of the regular nights or host one of their own in the Underground is encouraged to contact Dean Ogorzalek or Jennifer Wheeler.

“Cosponsoring events is a win-win situation, Ogorzalek added. “Students in general have a non-alcoholic entertainment option and the student groups hosting can promote their organization and potentially gain new members.”

Students may also visit the ASAP Facebook page to keep up with activities planned in the Underground by UP throughout the year.

Nicole Olin
Contributing Writer


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