Eastern welcomes students with silent dance party


Rob Le Cates

More than 100 new and old students piled into the Grand Ballroom Thursday night to dance and make friends during the New Student Mixer Silent Dance Party for part of the Eastern’s Welcome Weekend.

Adriana Hernandez-Santana, Feature Junior Editor

The first night of Welcome Weekend held a silent disco in honor of welcoming the new 2022 freshmen and transfers Thursday at Eastern. 

Held in the Grand Ballroom inside of the Martin Luther King Junior University Union, all freshman, transfer students and even current students were welcomed to participate in this event. 

A pair of headphones was offered to each student in exchange for their panthercard. Upon entering the dance, there were glow up sticks, photo booths and refreshments being offered to everyone attending. 

Not only that, but the headphones offered three different music genres for students to dance to their preferred type of music. Along with opportunities to win free jungle-themed shirts.

Justin Richards, a graduate student in the communication studies department and assistant in the Student Life Department, explained how research and planning went into making this event possible.

“What about an adventure?” Richards said. “Then we just needed to figure out what kind of adventure we wanted, so we settled on the jungle safari kind of theme, and we just built our program off of that.” 

Even though Richards is in the midst of completing his graduate program, he explains how excited he is about being able to engage with students. 

“Events like welcome weekend are super important and something that I really enjoyed when I was an undergraduate student, and coming back and working with college students and getting my masters in college student affairs was something that really interests me.” 

According to junior transfer student Haley Smith, she’s extremely excited to be starting her journey at Eastern. 

Double majoring in elementary education and early childhood, she mentions how being at Eastern is so surreal and is truly a dream come true for her and her family. 

“My mom went here, and it’s been my dream college since I was eight.” Smith said. 

Not only do the graduate students believe in this year’s theme, but University President David Glassman believes that, much like an adventure, school is truly a journey. 

“It’s a journey of learning,” Glassman said. “It’s a journey of growth. It’s a journey of becoming part of a bigger community, and it’s a journey towards one success.”

Even though this is Glassman’s last year at Eastern he says how it’s been a challenge, but it’s a wonderful journey as well. He does offer one last piece of advice for everyone attending Eastern. 

“Do all that you can to put yourself out, get a little bit out of your comfort zone, and certainly meet as many people as possible and take advantage of everything we have at EIU,” Glassman said. “And not only will you have a great education, but you’ll enjoy your time here at EIU as well.”


Adriana Hernandez-Santana can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].