‘Under the Big Blue Top’ to kick off first weekend


Jason Howell

Students crowd around the DJ stage and dance to various pieces of music during Quakin’ in the Quad in the South Quad on Aug. 23, 2014.

Luis Martinez, Entertainment Editor

Editor’s Note: The News was supplied with incorrect information for the start time of First Night.  It begins at 8 p.m. on Sunday. The story has been updated to reflect the new time. 


The new school year is starting off with the traditional first-weekend activities, including a new student mixer, Up All Night and Quakin’ in the Quad as part of Panther Fest 2015.

Nathan Wehr, the interim assistant director of student life, said the Student Life Office works together with the University Board to coordinate Panther Fest and decide the theme for move-in weekend.

“The Special Events Coordinator and their committee meet and discuss different events, programs and themes throughout the spring semester,” Wehr said. “Once details are finalized and confirmed, the University Board announces the first weekend theme.”

Each of the events during move-in weekend will have a sub-theme relating to the overarching theme.

The first event of the weekend will be the new student mixer, which will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday on the South Quad.

The new student mixer allows first-time students to get together as a type of welcome to Eastern. They can participate in giveaways, meet fellow new students and watch a movie on the South Quad.

The second event is Up All Night, which will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. The sub-theme is “Under the Big Blue Top.”

The students can participate in games and giveaways and receive a free T-shirt.

The night will also include cosmic bowling, creation stations, a cash cube, and airbrush and caricature artists.

“Under the Big Blue Top” will feature performances by Crescent Circus, New Orleans magicians and circus performers.

Quakin’ in the Quad is an annual welcome-back event, which will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the Ninth Street parking lot with the sub-theme “Panther Thrills.”

Students, faculty and staff can play games, receive T-shirts and enjoy food.

Other activities students can participate in include five carnival rides, airbrush and caricature artists, and bingo.

The last activity of move-in weekend is the First Night pep rally at 8 p.m. Sunday in the South Quad.

“First Night has become one of Eastern Illinois University’s major traditions of the year,” Wehr said. “At the event we introduce our athletes, students leaders and school spirit opportunities to the student body.”

Wehr said First Night will include several dance performances, Eastern’s Panther Marching Band and a live DJ.

The Pink Panthers perform a dance routine during last year’s First Night event in the South Quad on Aug. 24, 2014.
Chynna Miller
The Pink Panthers perform a dance routine during last year’s First Night event in the South Quad on Aug. 24, 2014.

Last year’s theme was related to “The Hunger Games.”

“The events change from year-to-year because the University Board and the special events coordinator want to keep the weekend thematic and inviting to new and returning students,” Wehr said. “The University Board strives to keep up with the trends within campus activities and likes to provide new events and programs to the EIU student body.”


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-5812 [email protected] or 581-5812