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SAB works to increase entertainment options

Zook, Nicole | Thursday, February 19, 2004

The Saint Mary’s Student Activities Board is working hard to combat the challenge of boredom on the College’s campus, where students claim chances for entertainment are few and far between.Many students report having never been to campus-sponsored activities during their time in college. Senior Fran Dunker is one of those women. “I don’t really participate in activities,” Dunker said. “Nothing has ever appealed to me before.” Other students would like to participate but said finding time for campus entertainment is not easy. “I’m just too busy,” freshman Lisa Goepfrich said. Goepfrich also said that the times at which activities are held make it difficult to attend.”It’s seven o’clock on a Wednesday night,” she said. “That’s my time that I do my homework; that’s my time that I do other things.”To change this situation, the SAB and its two entertainment chairs, Stacey Stark and Maureen Garavan-Oskielunas, have been making concerted efforts.Earlier the two chairs attended the National Association of Collegiate Activities conference to plan entertainment for Saint Mary’s. “Most of the acts that come to campus we saw at NACA,” Garavan-Oskielunas said. “It’s basically a showcase of every act that could come to your campus so you can book them.” This gives the SAB more artists to choose from, Garavan-Oskielunas said. “I think that, in recent years, that we’ve had a lot more variety of acts to work with – more comedians, more bands,” she said. “We’ve also done more surveys to compile the kind of entertainment the students are looking for.”So far this year, bands Red Wanting Blue, the Clayton Miller Blues Band and Rhett Butler have performed at Saint Mary’s. Comedians Elvira Kurt, Megan Mooney and Alex House have also presented shows.SAB has also put on several of what Garavan-Oskielunas calls “homegrown” events.”Our president, Becca Doll, instituted a rule that entertainment needs to put on three big events and three homegrown events, with students, each semester,” she said.Some students are noticing that difference.”I think they try. They make good attempts, like the comedians and Finding Nemo,” senior Jessica Millanes said. “This year has been better with Wednesdays at Dalloway’s.”The Wednesdays at Dalloway’s program is put on by SAB and the campus eatery. While Millanes’ favorite activity was Jeopardy, other games such as “How Well Do You Know Your Roommate?” and “Friends” trivia have been played. Dalloway’s also invites local artists, such as Notre Dame’s Tom Schreck to perform. Saint Mary’s may draw Notre Dame artists, but it does not seem to attract Notre Dame students.”I have never attended any event at Saint Mary’s,” junior Mark Ellestad said. “There haven’t really been any turnoffs to coming to Saint Mary’s, but nothing has really drawn me there.”None of the Saint Mary’s students interviewed reported attending any events on Notre Dame’s campus. Ellestad said she blames the weather.”When its winter, they seem to hibernate over at Saint Mary’s,” he said.For now, Saint Mary’s students say they would like to see a few changes on their own campus before heading to Notre Dame.Dunker said more mainstream artists will lure a larger crowd.”There should be one big activity night, with a bigger-name concert or a popular play,” she said. Ellestad and Saint Mary’s senior Robin Blume agreed.”A good concert or something like that would draw crowds, but I’m not sure if [Saint Mary’s students] have the venue or money for it,” Ellestad said. “Or maybe have like a SUB movie night but make it newer movies than SUB plays so people won’t care about the commute.””I think a lot more people would go to that,” Blume said. “They should also do more to include off-campus students. We never hear about anything.”SAB hopes that there will be high attendance rates for year-end activities such as Midnight Madness, featuring “Last Comic Standing” funnyman Dat Phan and the SMC Tostal, which will host two bands and the movie “Mona Lisa Smile.”Rising stress levels may attract students to what Garavan-Oskielunas calls the “big event” for this semester.”March 2, Antigone Rising, a big female rock band, will be in the dining hall at 8 p.m.,” she said. “It’s in the middle of midterms, so we’re going to do a take a study break, chow down on junk food and have some fun.”