August 21, 2009

Student Center’s annual open house set for Aug. 27

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A full day of free, fun activities at the Student Center welcomes students to Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Special Programs and Center Events (SPACE) is offering 12 hours of happenings, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the Student Center Fall Open House 2009. The event dates to the mid-1970’s. Then known as First Thursday, it introduces new students to the Student Center and welcomes back returning students. There are free games, giveaways and activities, along with special food pricing and samples.

In addition, Student Development is hosting the RSO and Volunteerism Fair that evening in the Student Center Ballrooms. SIUC is home to about 450 Registered Student Organizations, and the fair offers students the chance to learn more about the RSOs and how they can join. More than 100 RSOs will have booths and a variety of community organizations will be on hand as well, letting students interested in becoming volunteers find out more about those options. For more information, visit

The Student Center gives away more than 2,000 prizes and freebies each year during its open house. In 2009, students can play Scavenger Hunt Bingo for a chance to win a Sony Handycam DCR-HC28 digital video camera, a Trek 820 21-speed mountain bike with 26-inch tires and Shimano components, gift cards, and much more.

They can also grab freebies including T-shirts, soda, and Bowling and Billiards coupons. Pick up the bright green cup promoting Student Center services and save money all year long. That’s because if you take the cup to the Market Place or the McDonald’s in the Student Center, you can get a soda refill for just 25 cents plus tax.

You’ll also want to be sure to grab the free ABS (All By Students) three-subject notebook that features information about the various Student Affairs departments. Nathan Bonner, Student Center Graphics designer, created the notebook cover design.

Something new is happening at the open house as well this year. Bonner and David Schrappe of SPACE have joined forces to produce a full-color comic book with helpful information for new and prospective students. “Discover What You’re Looking For” includes a listing of services and phone numbers and a building map. You can also enjoy a building tour led by SIUC’s famous “Gray Dawg.”

And that’s just the beginning. There’s also “Fortunes by Madame Bling,” buy one/get one free bowling promotions, music by the Ivas John Blues Band, crafts, a bicycle workshop, the “We Can Make You Laugh” game show and a free presentation of the movie “Star Trek.” You’ll find all sorts of food specials and free samples too from Student Center Dining and McDonald’s. You can even test your tummy’s mettle at the Brew City Beer Battered Jalapeno Bottle Cap eating contest.

The SIUC Student Center Open House 2009 schedule includes:

• 9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Buy one game of bowling, get one free at Bowling and Billiards.

• 11 a.m.-2 p.m:. Free samples and special food pricing from the Market Place, Old Main and McDonald’s.

• 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: WIDB remote broadcast at the north entrance.

• 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.: Scavenger Hunt Bingo with major prizes for winners.

• 11 a.m.-5 p.m.: Freebie giveaways on the second floor landing. Also, participate in Crafts Galore creating glass beads, wax hands, pottery and more at the Craft Shop on the lower level.

• 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Noon Tunes concert by the Ivas John Blues Band in the Roman Room. Also, Saluki Spokes will present a free bicycle workshop on the west patio.

• 1 p.m.: Brew City Beer Battered Jalapeno Bottle Cap eating contest in the Roman Room.

• 1-4 p.m.: Madame Bling Fortune Telling in the Big Muddy Room.

• 5-7 p.m.: Student Development’s RSO and Volunteerism Fair in the Student Center Ballrooms and Corker Lounge.

• 7-9 p.m.: Student Programming Council’s showing of Star Trek in the auditorium with free admission for anyone with a current Dawg Tag.

• 7:15-9 p.m.: “We Can Make You Laugh,” audience participation game show in the Roman Room courtesy of Student Programming Council.

The Student Center Open House and the RSO and Volunteerism Fair are part of an extensive Week of Welcome calendar for SIUC students. To find out more, check the Student Center Web site at or call 618/453-1142. For the complete Week of Welcome schedule look online at