DI Voices | Main Quad is a stage for campus community


Cameron Krasucki

A student does a backflip on the Main Quad during Quad day. The Quad has many purposes whether it is preforming, or chilling, it is often exciting.

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

When my family and I toured campus during the summer before freshman year, I distinctly remember something the tour guide told us. She said, “You’ll quickly learn when attending Illinois that everyone here is diverse. It’s almost like a giant claw machine grabbed people from all walks of life and dropped them right here on campus.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. There’s no doubt the University community is a diverse one, but there’s one place where this multiplicity can be witnessed any given day: The Main Quad.

The Main Quad is certainly my preferred location for people-watching — or to make matters less strange, observing the world around me. As a writer and journalist, it’s a skill I’ve nearly mastered because of the University community.

There’s something always happening on the Main Quad. Whether students host booths to promote their particular club or organization, Brother Jed gives another one of his “interesting” talks or yet another Spikeball game occurs, the Main Quad is alive. In many ways, it’s free entertainment.

Sure, I walk through the quad to various classes and other activities like other students. But during the times when I hang out in the soft grass by myself or with friends, that’s when the show begins.

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I’ve seen students ride unicycles or skate through the sidewalks of the quad on their blades. Students bounce on bungee cords, juggle, play saxophone, sleep in hammocks attached to the trees, dance like no one is watching and so much more. Anything one could imagine happens on the Main Quad.

Some of my best moments on the quad include seeing Illini basketball players meandering around off the court, standing front row for Lil’ Yachty and taking a selfie with Chancellor Robert Jones. It’s much of what makes me who I am.

When I visited Central Park in New York a few years ago, I was mesmerized by all of the people who filled the grounds. Everyone dressed like they wanted whether in style or not and did their own thing. To them, they were probably happy.

The Main Quad is the University’s own Central Park. Everyone is welcome, and anything is possible. This in countless ways helps the University community continue to stay diverse and allows every Illini to be themselves — however they choose.

While doing so, it has helped me realize everyone is their individual and they should express themselves and live life however they seem fit. I know I do, and the Main Quad is the perfect place to do so.

If I’m not tossing a frisbee with friends, playing acoustic guitar or reading a book at the foot of a tree, I’m watching people on the quad. I know it’s not the greatest activity to pursue, but if the pastime was an Olympic sport, I would more than likely return home with a gold medal every four years.

To all University community members everywhere, keep doing whatever makes you happy; preserve the quad as your playground.

The University is home for all of us, and the Main Quad is our backyard located smack dab in the heart of campus. It’s our place to play, to explore and to live life however we choose.

Noah is a senior in Media.

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