More Illinites scheduled

By Tanika Ely

Friday night was filled with entertainment, food, games and crafts as many students flocked to the Illini Union for Illinites, an event sponsored by the Illini Union Board (IUB) and Residential Life.

For the past semester, Illinites has been held every few weeks – but that may change beginning next semester, said Marissa Alcantara, senior in LAS and area coordinator for Illinites.

“There are nine dates for Illinites next semester and in the spring,” Alcantara said. “It will be held three or four times the first month and then twice a month later on.”

Alcantara said the University has given them enough money to allow them to have the event more often.

“Other universities have similar programs,” Alcantara said. “Why shouldn’t we?”

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Fatima Aziz, sophomore in LAS and a committee chair of Illinites, said she agreed.

“It’s definitely a good idea to have Illinites more often,” Aziz said. “People will have more opportunities to enjoy the variety of events.”

Aziz said Illinites presents a possible alternative to the bar and party scene and enables students to find out more about what their University has to offer.

“It’s something that people can look forward to,” Aziz said.

Among some of the highlights during Friday’s Illinites were a “battle of the sexes” trivia game, a NASCAR simulator and a Luau. Students could also get free popcorn and buy pizza provided by Sbarro for a quarter per slice.

Some University students said they enjoyed being at Illinites and participating in the various events.

Karmell Wisdom, sophomore in engineering, said she has been to Illinites many times. This time she decided to ride the mechanical bull.

“I probably stayed on for an entire two seconds,” she said. “But it was fun.”

Alise Williams, junior in education, said she agreed that Illinites has a lot to offer students. She said in one night she was able to play basketball, have her caricature drawn and enter a raffle.

“It’s fun and it’s something different,” Williams said. “As an RA, I think the best thing about it is that it’s free and students who have trouble figuring out what to do come here and enjoy themselves.”

There were also some students at Illinites who were there for the first time.

Ray Zhang, junior in business, who was waiting to have his caricature drawn, said he did not know what to expect when he first came to Illinites.

“There are a lot of long lines, that’s one drawback,” Zhang said. “But I think it’s worth it.”

Organizing Illinites is not an easy task, said Aziz. She said they try to get various registered student organizations involved to create diversity.

“We try to fill the Union with a number of events,” said Abby Flemming, freshman in LAS and a committee chair of Illinites. “There’s usually something going on in each room.”

Alcantara said one of their most difficult problems when planning for Illinites is finding people to staff the events.

She said it is a unique opportunity for University students to become involved in a campus organization.

Flemming said they usually plan events anywhere from two weeks to one month in advance, and that although planning for Illinites may be difficult at times, it is all worthwhile.

“We are really passionate,” Flemming said. “It takes a lot, but everyone really enjoys it.”