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SAO offers free events

Ann Marie Jakubowski | Friday, August 24, 2012

Notre Dame students like to have fun. Tonight, they get the chance to prove it – for free.

An evening of campus-wide frivolity and entertainment, Irishenanigans will take place beginning at 8 p.m. The Student Activities Office (SAO) organized the event, coordinating a variety of unusual entertainment opportunities to encourage students to explore campus and interact with peers.

David Mattingly, program associate for SAO, said a wide range of events is to take place on campus, mostly between LaFortune Student Center and Stepan Center. All of the activities are free to students.

“We have a comedy troupe coming from New York to perform at Washington Hall at 9 p.m., and Stepan Center will have an event [inspired by NBC’s] American Gladiators, complete with Nerf guns and inflatable obstacles,” Mattingly said. “Expect glow-in-the-dark laser tag at Stepan too, with a fire-juggling show at 10:30 p.m.”

Free food is also part of the festivities. Mattingly said a cupcake truck parked near North Quad will hand out 1,200 gourmet cupcakes, with a smoothie distribution stationed nearby. A trivia game in The Huddle at midnight will offer “quarter dogs” as prizes, and elephant ears will be available near Stepan Center.

Mattingly hopes the events will draw out both new and returning students to get better acquainted with campus and each other.

“We want students to go to Washington Hall, and then to Stepan and then LaFortune,” Mattingly said. “We want them to understand that campus is fun, and that it’s exciting to be coming back here for the year.”

In planning the event, Mattingly said SAO tried to orchestrate something that would appeal to everyone, so his office organized a vast array events and activities.

Students looking for a workout can try their hands at Blitz Ball and Laser Tag in Stepan Center, or at the hourly games of Capture the Flag on the RecSports fields. Students seeking a more relaxing time can listen to live music played by the pop/rock band South Jordan, or catch a game of glow-in-the-dark corn hole.

Mattingly said he hoped the variety of activities will draw a variety of students who might not typically interact.

“The event is really just a social tool, a way to meet people,” Mattingly said. “You can do the cool exciting stuff or the more relaxing activities. There’s something for everyone.