What else is there to do here?

By Missy Smith

The hard part is over; you’ve settled on a school, and it seems as if the possibilities are endless. On a campus of more than 40,000, it may seem like they are. Now the only question is where to start.

What exactly is there to do in Champaign-Urbana?

Of course there are various frat parties and bars to go to each weekend and with the age to get in set at 19, many people just settle on those. Yet there is an entire world on this campus to explore, if students would only see it. One of those unexplored media on campus is the music scene.

Sure Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., has seen worthy basketball opponents, but it has also seen some of the biggest names in music. According to the official Web site, artists ranging from Ludacris to Kenny Chesney to Dave Matthews and so many more have graced the hallowed halls of Assembly Hall. Additionally, musicals, plays and comedy acts make their way and light up the C-U community.

Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., has seen many different classes and professors, but it has seen equally as many guest speakers and concerts. This past semester former CBS anchor Dan Rather spoke about his experiences, while earlier in the year the band Jack’s Mannequin rocked the auditorium. Events are varied and sporadic, but worth checking out when they come.

Another interesting venue is the Canopy Club, 708 S. Goodwin Ave., which is not your average club. The atmosphere varies from day to day depending on the activity going on. It can be a very relaxing and chill environment, accommodating indie acts such as Andrew Bird, or it can be hyped up and electric, burning the midnight hours as a dance club.

Jannell Lising, sophomore in LAS, frequents the Canopy at least once a month after big events because it is where the unofficial after-party lies.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Lising said. “The DJs are really good, they play really good music, and there are a lot of people dancing. It’s a good time, and it helps that the building is clean for a nightclub.”

However, there is a more personal way to get involved with the music scene on campus, and that is through the registered student organization Star Course.

Kevin Jackson, 2007 alumnus and one of the former senior managers of the organization, stresses how much students are involved in all aspects of the show.

“We book the shows, manage the publicity and promotions, load in the equipment and act as security and ushers during the shows,” Jackson said. “We strive to bring a diverse mix of music to campus, everything from pop-punk to indie rock to rap and country.”

If music is not exactly the desired scene, there is much else to do on campus still, and a good place to start looking is at any of the various Registered Student Organizations. At any given time, any number of these organizations throws events, and everyone is sure to find something to do.

One of the biggest organizations seeking to provide alternative activities for students during the week and on the weekends is the Illini Union Board.

Abby Fleming, senior in LAS and the president of the Illini Union Board, said that the IUB plans all-inclusive programs to bring students together.

“We program a variety of events from homecoming to musicals, from cultural programs to cultural shocks, and Illinites,” Fleming said. “Our aim is to bring students together and help them have fun and interact with diverse groups of students.”

This is only one of more than 1000 RSOs on campus, so from volunteer groups to cultural groups and everything in between, there is sure to be a club for any student.

The student body of this campus is diverse, so don’t settle for the obvious activities. Step out of your comfort zone and experience all that a campus this large has to offer.