Students welcomed to Eastern with weekend full of events



T'Nerra Butler, Verge Editor

The University Board plans to bring in the school year with a bang through their UB Prowl weekend.

“We’re Wild About EIU,” is this year’s jungle theme and the event has been in the making for the last couple of months.

The festivities kick off 8 p.m. Thursday in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, starting with the New Student Mixer. Each event has its own theme, and this year’s mixer’s theme is “It’s a Jungle Out There EIU.”

A screening of “The Jungle Book” will be shown at the New Student Mixer.

The next day’s “Up All Nite” event will be filled with creation stations, giveaways, face painting, Bingo and more. It is called “Welcome to the Jungle” and will start at 7 p.m. Friday in the Grand Ballroom of the Union.

The last event from the UB is Quakin’ in the Quad, with the subtheme “Every Jungle has a Panther.” Festivities start 7 p.m. Saturday in the Student Recreation Center.

UB Chair Aaliyah Stephen said after extensive planning, the committee working on the event chose to do a jungle theme.

Stephen said because of last year’s success with the carnival theme, the committee sought to bring something similar back to campus, but could not because finding a vendor had proven to be more challenging than they thought.

Ceci Brinker, the director of student life, said weather played a crucial role in planning this year.

The constant rain has called for the UB to do a lot of indoor activities to make up for the weather.

Brinker said the UB is focusing on inflatable games and activities this time around. She said the biggest highlight this year is the laser tag.

“They have probably about one of the largest mobile laser tag units in the country,” Brinker said. “Just about everybody likes laser tag, and if you have not played, it’s quite fun.”

Stephen said it all worked out in the end because of the pending weather issues. She said her main goal is to get the students together for an unforgettable weekend.

“When you first come to Eastern as a freshman, you don’t really know anybody or you have just a couple friends, and the new student mixer gives an opportunity to meet new people,” Stephen said.

This weekend serves the purpose of getting freshmen, transfers and returning students together to mingle and have fun before classes start, Stephen said.

“The purpose of the University Board is to meet new people and to meet more diverse people,” Stephen said. “ We definitely stress diversity at UB.”

Brinker said this weekend has been put on by the UB for more than 20 years.

“It has been a long tradition for UB to have events that help students transition back to the campus,” Brinker said. “[The UB] starts the year off on a good note with these events.”

Over the years, the events have centered around an overall theme, Brinker said.

She said the UB strives to come up with games, gear and activities that correlate with the given theme.

“UB, through the years, has tried to expand on the activities and events and make each one a unique experience for students,” Brinker said.

Around eight events are planned to happen during the first weekend, including the events from the UB Prowl weekend.

Other events include a picnic brought to campus by new student programs and Jumpstart 2 G.I.V.E., which is set up by the office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism.

Another event is “Take the Lake,” which will be 1 p.m. Sunday at Lake Charleston.


T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]