EDITORIAL: Charleston needs more interesting activities

Staff Editorial

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There is a reason a common joke among students at Eastern is that we graduate as alcoholics: There is nothing to do in Charleston.

Students want to, and need to, have a commendable amount of options for a good time when they need a break from the stresses of college life.

The most common form of entertainment for students on the weekends is drinking at bars, accompanied by dancing and laughter among friends.

But that seems to be every weekend, and we at The Daily Eastern News think Charleston and Eastern need to work toward more options for students.

It is no secret that Eastern wants to get back to the tens of thousands for enrollment, and at the same time, everyone knows Eastern students help keep some businesses in Charleston operating at a comfortable rate.

Some more attractive “hangout” spots in town could help recruit prospective students who want to make sure their college of choice has some night life.

More than that, prospective students want to see that the city the college is in has some life and is connected with the school actively.

Just going over to a friend’s dorm room or apartment will not quench the thirst for fun that we try to fill with alcohol every weekend.

Are there things to do for students?

Yes, of course there are some, but too few things to keep students coming back over and over.

There is bowling both on-campus and in Charleston.

Students can always go to sporting events on campus, but a lot of sports do not come close to filling the bleachers.

The Lincoln State Historic Site really only warrants one visit because you can go once and see everything possible.

Fox Ridge State Park caters to a specific audience, and the distance to it brings up another issue students may face: Travel.

Not every student has a car or is willing to take others somewhere.

The closest movie theater is just outside Mattoon, and the nearest mall is in Mattoon.

Some of the more “fun” restaurants, like Buffalo Wild Wings, is, again, in Mattoon.

Like any good business does, constantly changing a theme or the atmosphere of the establishment is the right way to keep people coming back for more.

Charleston, in recent years, has had some places come and go, mainly restaurants that seem to have little success.

But this is a college student we are talking about.

We want fun and excitement, not bowling over and over or spending gas money every weekend or going to the same restaurants.

That is not to say Charleston residents would not benefit from more things to do too.

The lot where Jerry’s Pizza used to be is still empty; why not put an arcade there, right on the corner where Eastern students are walking every weekend night anyway?

Something is needed to help reinvigorate Charleston and Eastern, as both are trying to grow.

Getting excited to make a run to Wal-Mart is too common and too accepted at this point.