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Take advantage of start-of-school activities

Editorial Staff | Friday, August 27, 2010

Students, take advantage of it: You’re being treated like kings now. With more free stuff than you can possibly use, and signs ushering you gently from ID Card registration to the correct bathroom in DeBartolo, you probably won’t experience coddling like this again until you enter a retirement home 50 years from now.

The first week back to school is traditionally filled with free food, such as the picnic after the Opening Mass, and culminates in a concert put on by the Student Activities Office. The various student activity organizations have done an admirable job, so far, of making the transition to college life more exciting and carefree.

With the pageantry of football weekends still a week away, the main campus entertainment this weekend will happen just outside the football stadium at the B1 Block Party.

While The Show, the traditional back-to-school concert, had a weak showing with Good Charlotte in 2008 (and finally went on indefinite hiatus when it lost its venue in the JACC in 2009), Legends’ B1 Block Party is filling the void. Bringing in rising artists like last year’s Eric Hutchinson and Matisyahu was a great start, and the event seems to have truly hit its stride by booking college-cult-favorite Guster as the headliner for this Saturday.

Legends should be commended for making this event affordable while still cramming in as much as the B1 parking lot can allow. For only $10, Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students will get to see Guster and Mayer Hawthorne, but admission also covers several carnival-type attractions (including Eurobungy), performances by student bands Nick Gunty & the Powers Five and Identity Crisis, as well as a “happy hour” with food from several restaurants. With an expanded beer garden for the 21 and over attendees, Legends is also clearly striving to bring in more upperclassmen to what is sometimes seen as an extension of Frosh-O.

General Manager of Legends Aaron Perri told The Observer he expects Saturday’s event to surpass last year’s 5,000 tickets sold. While the B1 Block Party can boast about a head count, it’s undeniable that the bevy of other activities this week (glow in the dark putt-putt, the Senior BBQ at Stepan, soccer games and volleyball matches) have attracted an enthusiastic turn out because they provide three of the things college students love: Free food, a chance to socialize and a way to avoid thinking about classwork.

Tonight, all over campus, students can take part in Irishenanigans, a series of giveaways, sporting events and other activities organized by SAO. Whether it be laser tag on North Quad or a mechanical bull on South Quad, the obvious effort by SAO to get students out of their dorms and into the nice evening weather before it becomes time to hibernate through the South Bend winter.

But boredom and restlessness are on the way. Make a point to stop by Activities Night at the JACC next Tuesday, August 31. Only through continued student involvement and enthusiasm can these organizations keep producing new events, sprucing up traditions and throwing out free stuff. (Not to mention publishing newspapers.)

If you don’t keep busy, you’ll start to notice the small number of back-to-school nuisances.

Freshman, you’ll get used to sprinklers showering you as you walk on the sidewalks in the early evening, having to navigate around the iron fences obstructing obvious quad shortcuts and learning to tune out the upperclassmen complaining about the increase in price for quarter dogs at the Huddle.

So students, especially seniors, don’t let all this free food and fun pass you by. Chances are you won’t find a lot of sub sandwiches or glow-in-the-dark putt-putt greeting you when you start your first job in nine months.