Show support by showing up to campus events


By Camron Owens

One of the best aspects of attending a university with such a large and diverse student body is the variety of events on campus. Through different registered student organizations, clubs and groups at this school, there are events for people with all interests. Supporting these events is necessary to our individual growth, and it shows appreciation for our fellow classmates.

Exploring our curiosities and expanding our interests has always been one of the key aspects of the college experience. Before coming to the University, I was eager to let out my inner James Franco (you know, try as many things as possible and not care about what anyone thinks) and explore a large range of fascinations and activities. We may also find that we are not alone when it comes to certain passions.

Growing up in a small town, my options were limited when it came to entertainment. But here, I have been able to see performances by OK Go, Bo Burnham and The Second City. I did not have to drive hours to Chicago or Indianapolis to see these performers; instead, all I had to do was take a short MTD bus ride.

In this way, I think attending campus events is an incredibly beneficial way to explore certain areas that we couldn’t in high school or may have ignored previously. My school certainly did not have a cappella or improv groups. But now, thanks to the University, these are all events that I can easily experience.

By being able to attend events that we may not have had access to previously, campus events can help us expand our interests and even change our views on certain subjects.

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I’m sure most of our high schools had a basketball team or some sort of sports team. I’ve never been a huge basketball fan, and playing basketball has never really been my strong suit. Despite the staggering persona I may emit in my columns, I am actually on the shorter side of the height spectrum. Regardless, I enjoy watching basketball and going to games.

I did not realize how being a fan could actually be a team activity until I attended games as a member of the Orange Krush. As someone whose basketball past consisted of mainly sitting on the sidelines and an overall career average of two points, I now have a completely different view of how everyone can be involved in the game.

Other events such as Jock Jams, for example, can show us different sides of people we may know. Jock Jams is essentially a variety show starring University athletes. Seeing someone who may be known only by his or her athletic talents sing or exhibit some passion for one of their hobbies can be fascinating and fun. Besides, combining two different worlds like basketball and music can have a really interesting outcome — need I remind you of Lil Bow Wow’s hit 2002 song, “Basketball”? 

Attending different events on campus can help unify us as a student body. These don’t only include concerts and games, but also plays, religious functions, art exhibits and film screenings. We may be divided by majors, classes or different groups on campus, but going to events can unify us. We find that we are not alone in our interests on such a big campus. 

In this way, we are better able to connect with other people and meet those with interests similar to ours. This helps us network and make friends on campus as well.

Going to All Campus Worship showed me that religion plays a large part in a college environment that is generally thought of as being very secular. Going to different movie showings helped show me that as serious as we can be about school and our work, at the end of the day, most of us just enjoy sitting back and watching Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum do undercover drug busts. After all, we are all college students just trying to make the most of the Illinois experience. 

Alas, not all of the events I’ve mentioned may be everyone’s cup of tea. For every event we may like, there are definitely ones that we may be hesitant about going to. However, learning that you dislike something can be just as powerful as discovering you love something.

By attending different campus gatherings, we’re supporting talents and activities that cannot always be found in the classroom. Supporting these events brings culture to campus.

There are so many beneficial aspects to attending different events on campus, from sports games, to religious clubs, to performances at Krannert. It is important that we support campus happenings that can in turn entertain us, inspire us and even enrich our lives.

Camron is a junior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected].