Unofficial 2022: Live updates throughout the day

Lela+Herena%2C+senior+in+Engineering%2C+dresses+up+in+celebration+of+Unofficial+2022+on+Friday.+Many+students+talk+about+their+plans+for+Unofficial+such+as+partying+in+apartments+and+hanging+out+with+friends.+

Sydney Laput

Lela Herena, senior in Engineering, dresses up in celebration of Unofficial 2022 on Friday. Many students talk about their plans for Unofficial such as partying in apartments and hanging out with friends.

1 p.m.

Green Street is getting busy with groups of people walking around dressed in green. Music can be heard from apartments along Green Street.

Legends Bar and Grill and liquor store Illini Pantry reportedly do not have a lot of activity.

For those celebrating Unofficial for the first time, they say it’s an exciting time.

Emily Baca, a sophomore in Engineering, said she didn’t celebrate last year and is going to an apartment party today.

“I’m looking forward to the community aspect of (Unofficial),” she said. “It’s fun seeing everyone outside.”

Olivia, a sophomore in LAS, said she is excited because Unofficial didn’t really happen last year.

“This will be my first time (celebrating),” she said. “It feels more laidback this year.”

12 p.m. 

Kate Sanders, a junior in ACES, said she began drinking at 7:15 in the morning, which she describes as “an official attempt to let loose during the midterm season” and have fun with her friends.

Zoey Witruk, a sophomore in ACES who lives in the area, said her plan for the day is to go on an apartment crawl. Witruk likes the community of Unofficial the most.

“I haven’t seen anyone dressed up or anything today but in the past … I’ve seen people all dressed up and celebrating and everything,” Witruk said. “It’s a really fun time.”

Jefrin Joseph, a junior in LAS, noted how “COVID-19 has definitely dialed down Unofficial.”

“I remember Unofficial to be crazier during my freshman year before COVID-19 happened,” Joseph said. “I would see frat guys in all green that day with constant chanting sometimes by frat houses.”

According to Joseph, all he did for Unofficial “was have an extravagant breakfast with my friends,” and that it is otherwise a normal day for him.

“I’ve seen a few cops here today on Green Street but it’s like a normal day for me,” he said. “I know a few apartment crawls are happening tonight and definitely something at frat houses but I’m gonna pass on it.”

11 a.m. 

From 11:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. there were reports of groups of people wearing green in front of the Seven07 apartment building to celebrate Unofficial. There were only two to three groups of people on Green Street that were wearing green. 

“I am planning to get hammered,” said Karin, a senior at the University. 

Avi, one of the group members and a senior, stated that they started at 8:30 a.m. which was considered late.

According to Avi, the group plans on going to apartments.

“We are going to try going to happy hour if we survive. We’re just going to assume that we’re not going to make it,” Avi said.

Nirvana, the general manager at the McDonald’s on Green Street, said that “it gets crazy at night, but it is more chill right now.” Nirvana also stated that they ordered 43,000 Shamrock shake mixes to prepare for Unofficial. 

Nirvana said that the McDonald’s on Green Street will be open 24 hours today and their staff will work double shifts. 

“This year I think it’s gonna be pretty crazy,” as another group compared to last year when unofficial was considered dead.

Diana Emory, store manager of the Ragstock store in Champaign, said Unofficial merchandise has been selling out and the store is now low on supply with how popular the festivities have been. 

“Technically, Unofficial is Unofficial. We have lots of St. Patrick’s Day items that could be doubled as Unofficial items, but we are low on items already this year. We’ve had people shopping for the last week or so, so what we have is everything we have left,” Emory said.

Students start their day off by celebrating the Unofficial season Friday morning and deny rumors about the festivities dying out.

“Unofficial is definitely not dead, it feels a lot more (busy) than last year. We just went to an apartment and now we’re just hanging out and waiting until we go to the next apartment,” said Ashi Patel, a junior at the University.

As the University continues to crack down on Unofficial activities it becomes difficult for underclassmen to take part more actively, which is why the holiday may seem dead to some.

“For freshmen, (Unofficial is) dead, but if you live in an apartment or know someone living in one, it’s fun still,” said Fina Healy, a senior at the University.

10:30 a.m. 

From 10:00 a.m. until about 10:20 a.m., Green Street was generally quiet. Starting at 10:30 a.m., more students began to come out wearing green and dressed in costumes. There was some yelling from the balconies of apartments and groups of people running across the streets closer to 11:00 a.m. There did not seem to be an obvious police presence, aside from one police car moving east on Green Street. Bars were quiet, as most of the activity seemed to be contained to apartments.

Cory Shumard, Regional Manager for two Gameday Spirit stores in Champaign, said that Gameday Spirit has historically reacted to this event on campus with green licensed apparel. “I think since it’s been a couple years — you know, we’re just kind of coming out of a pandemic — the reaction was a lot stronger than we anticipated, so we had to chase a lot of product to get it ready for customers this year,” Shumard said. 

Gameday Spirit had around 4 customers at 10:40 a.m. “If you would walk into our store right now this morning, you wouldn’t think that we’d have any kind of traffic all week, but it actually has been very very strong,” Shumard said. 

10:15 a.m.

The temperature is currently 39 degrees with a high of 53 degrees. The weather forecast predicts it will be mostly cloudy throughout the day.

 

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing report. Please stay with The Daily Illini for more updates throughout the day.

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