Quad Day through the Eyes of Seniors

Lina Al-Chaar and fellow club members at the Vicenna Community Health Center booth at last year’s Quad Day.

While Quad Day, a sacred campus tradition, transforms freshmen and transfer students into active members of the University community, the day is anything but reserved to underclassmen.

While bright-eyed and enthusiastic newcomers to the school wander the crowded Quad, signing up for Registered Student Organizations (RSO) that strike their fancy and collecting a lifetime supply of free Illini memorabilia, upperclassmen are the ones welcoming these new students to campus and making them feel at home.

“I love the craziness of Quad Day,” said Lina Al-Chaar, senior in LAS. “It’s loud and crowded and it’s an opportunity to meet so many new people, especially when you’re working in a booth where you meet new people who have common interests.”

While students swarm the Quad, upperclassman are usually the ones tending to the booths, reigning in a new generation of Illini to carry on legacies they spent their last three years forging.

“I think it’s really fun to stand behind a booth on Quad Day, especially when it’s an organization you really care about,” Al-Chaar said. “Getting to meet new people, sharing my experiences and talking about the possibilities they can have being involved with the organization is awesome.”

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    Al-Chaar is involved in many organizations on campus, and will split her time manning the various booths. Last year, Al-Chaar was at the Avicenna Community Health Center RSO booth. It was the RSO’s first time at Quad Day and Al-Chaar said she really enjoyed getting people interested in the new organization.

    “Since I am the operations manager at the clinic, one of my duties is to stay in close touch with the RSO and get the word out on the many volunteering opportunities the clinic has for students,” she said. “I hope that I can leave that impression onto the incoming freshman who are interested in joining.”

    Although she said many upperclassmen may think that Quad Day is a dated tradition, Al-Chaar said she thinks it gets better every year.

    “Organizations are always trying to think of new ways to make their organization stand out, so it’s as if Quad Day becomes bigger and better as the years go by,” she said.

    Tim Rees, senior in Media, can be found at the Student Alumni Ambassadors booth on Quad Day. He said one of his favorite things about Quad Day is that it brings people together and emphasizes school spirit.

    “People from all sectors of campus life are present,” Rees said. “As a freshman, I remember being shocked at the sheer size of our campus community. It will be nice to experience that kind of atmosphere one last time.”

    Ryan Kuramitsu, senior in Social Work, agrees, and said he thinks that despite the redundancy, Quad Day can still be relevant to seniors because it allows them to continue to meet and greet the next generation of students and welcome them into their favorite clubs and organizations.

    Kuramitsu will be helping out at the Illini Union Board booth, which he has been involved with for the past three years.

    “It’s been so cool to see how each year we have returning members who have been able to consistently help us plan great events for the student body,” he said.

    Although he has managed and organized booths in past years, Kuramitsu said he plans to embrace his freedom to explore the Quad.

    “I’m looking forward to Quad Day in particular this year because for the first time in three years, I’m not in charge of organizing an entire day of manning a table and handing out stuff to incoming students,” Kuramitsu said. “So it’ll be cool to sort of relive my freshman year and wander around and bump into new students and old friends.”

    Saher can be reached at [email protected].