August 21, 2007

Student Center to host open house, RSO fair

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The start of the fall semester at Southern Illinois University Carbondale brings with it all-day entertainment, thousands of prizes and freebies and much more at the 2007 Student Center Open House Thursday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

The Special Programs and Center Events (SPACE) open house is for SIUC students and everything's free except for the $1 food specials. The event, which also incorporates the RSO/Community Service Fair, typically brings in huge crowds, organizers say. One big draw is the multitudes of giveaways and prizes.

Last year the Student Center gave away more than 3,500 prizes and free items and this year there's even more. Soda, T-shirts, whoopee cushions and the ever-popular refill cups are among the free stuff students can get. All school year long, not just during the fall semester, students can take the cup, designed to promote Student Center services, to Market Place and the McDonald's in the Student Center for 25-cent soda refills.

The premier open house giveaway is the free Shadow five-subject notebook that debuts during the open house. Student Center graphics designer Nathan Bonner designed the nationally recognized notebook cover. Inside the notebook is information pertinent to the various Student Affairs departments. Students can pick up cups and notebooks at the tables on the second floor landing in front of the identification office.

Students can try to win a mountain bike, SIU apparel, Student Center gift cards and much more by playing Scavenger Hunt Bingo throughout the building from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saluki Bingo from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Ballroom B.

There's free bowling and billiards during the open house, along with crafts like glass beads, wax hands, pottery and more in the Craft Shop on the lower level. The Ivas John Band will play blues at the Noon Tunes program in the Roman Room. SPC Films will present a free showing of the movie "Blades of Glory" at 7 p.m.

One of the day's highlights is the RSO/Community Service Partners Fair from 5 to 7 p.m. in the International Lounge and Ballroom D. More than 100 registered student organizations will have tables promoting their groups. In addition, about 20 community partners will be on hand recruiting volunteers and offering information about their service organizations.

The event is a great opportunity for students to promote their organizations and for new and returning students to learn more about student and community organizations and get involved, said Katherine O. Sermersheim, director of Student Development.

Students can enjoy free popcorn along with music by WIDB student radio station. There will be lots of giveaways and a chance to meet Grey Dawg or Brown Dawg too at the RSO/Community Partners Fair.

Formerly known as "First Thursday," "E Night" and "Carnival of Craziness", SPACE has been planning the popular Student Center open house events each year since the mid-1970's to welcome students to the Student Center and SIUC.