Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dean Goodman in Bathing Suit?

Last Friday was the annual Cardboard Boat Regatta sponsored by The Council for Advancing Student Leadership. Organizations, living communities, and community organizations built boats made of cardboard and duck tape to race. Themed boats, realistic-looking boats, and box-shaped boats all showed up to race the length of the Indiana University Outdoor Pool on the North end of campus.

So Friday I made the trek to the Outdoor Pool with my friend Alison who the Historian for the Residence Hall Association, another group that had a team participating in the event. As a member of the Indiana Memorial Union (the student union building)'s student Union Board, I went to cheer on members of Union Board.

The Indiana Memorial Union Union Board cardboard boat
tips over in the Cardboard Boat Regatta.

I wish Union Board had experienced the same success the Residence Halls Association had. The Union Board was one of the few organizations, along with Collins Living Learning Center (LLC), who had a boat to not make it a quarter of the way down the pool.

Collins Living Learning Center students climb into their cardboard boat, ready to compete.

The race of the Dean's, where three deans from various IU schools race against one another in boats prepared for by students, made for a nice start to the festivities. Only one of the three was able to make it to the finish, and Dean Robert Goodman of HPER made it to the end of the pool without getting a drop of water on him!

The Dean's of various IU schools strike a pose before the start of their race.

All and all, the Indiana University Outdoor Adventures Club (IUOA) had a sweeping victory. Their incredibly realistic cardboard kayak went the length of the pool in just over twenty seconds, leaving everyone else in the dust. The competition was incredibly close and the Residence Hall Association's brightly ducktaped box boat managed to win second place. It was a great way to start the weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hoosier Nation Brings Celebrities to Campus

When I first toured IU, I was incredibly impressed with the outstanding academics, but nervous about the size of the university. Setting aside the fact that I never feel like I attend a public university with an undergraduate enrollment of over 20,000 students, there are some benefits to attending a large public university.

A school that has an enrollment of over 20,000 students means they have an enormous alumni network, and the Hoosier Nation is not only large, but very giving. Both the Kelley School of Business and School of Journalism have fantastic alumni networks that donate annually to the school, helping to fund many extra-curricular programs and other events. Oftentimes, events include bringing in celebrity or expert speakers to talk about current issues.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending two such events. The Journalism Speaker Series kicked off last week with a lecture by Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow, who also co-wrote "The Last Lecture" with former Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch. Zaslow gave a very inspiring lecture on how journalism students can find and follow good stories, and spoke at most length about his work on "The Last Lecture". I ended my week by attending a Kelley School of Business lecture by Oil Tycoon and Billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Pickens discussed his rise to success as he developed two billion dollar companies, and his recent business venture in alternative energy sources.

If it were not for the donations of the very large, and incredibly giving Kelley School of Business and School of Journalism alumni network, I never would have gotten to experience the in-person and personal stories of these two successful men. Going to these interesting lectures is just one of the different types of events that students can attend at IU for FREE!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get Busy, Get Involved!

Students walk around and enjoy the Student Involvement Fair.

Last Wednesday was the annual Student Involvement Fair. Hosted every year in the parking lot of the hotel at the Indiana Memorial Union, many of the over 650 student organizations set up tables with information about club missions, meeting times and opportunities.

Tables for student organizations.

For new students, and returning students who are looking for something new to do in the spare time, this event is always a great way for students to find out what is available to them. Clubs representing every school with clubs ranging from the Kelley School of Business Community Leadership Development Club, to the College of Arts and Sciences Pre-Med Student Association and Sustainability at IU.

A student gets information about the IU Outdoor Adventures organization.

With over 600 clubs on campus, there really is something for everyone. Many of the individual schools host club events like the campus Student Involvement Fair, but all are great ways to find out how to get involved!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When the Fun Starts!

When classes start at IU Bloomington, campus is buzzing all day. The days go by in such rapid succession that sometimes you feel like you don't know how to keep up with it all. So when the weekend rolls around, its such a great time for students to catch up on what they are behind on, get ahead for the next week, and just relax. One of my favorite things to do to unwind is attend sporting events. Most of the 24 varsity sports played at IU can be seen for free with your student I.D.; the exception being popular sports like men's basketball or football.

Led by the cheerleading squad with flags, the IU football team runs onto
the field for the first football game of the season. The marching band formed
an "I" for the team to run through and onto the field.

I am a football season ticket holder, and have high hopes for this year's team; there's a lot of talent. So Thursday night, I marched up to Memorial Stadium decked out in my cream and crimson, ready for the game after a long first week of classes. Sitting in the student section, as Max explained last week, is a blast. Your best friends surround you, people are cheering, and you're in the middle of one of those college experiences you always saw on T.V. Needless to say, we were all very excited the Hoosiers were able to pull off a very close 19-13 win over Eastern Kentucky University.

A student watches the introductions of the IU mens soccer team.
The Hoosiers tied with St. John's University last Friday.

With the weekend off to a great start, my friends and I continued the sports theme to our first weekend by going to the first men's soccer game. I never went to an IU soccer game last year, and didn't really know too much about soccer in general. The crazy hits of the ball off of players heads, and very quick foot moves made the game incredibly interesting. Best of all, the first 300 students who filled the lower level student section even got a free "white out" IU soccer t-shirt!

My best girl friends and I at the first home football game of
the year. We all live together in the same dorm and do lots together.

It was a fantastic weekend attending fun IU athletic events with some of my best friends that made all the back-to-school homework a little bit more manageable.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Greatest Week in College

Some people say Little 500 is IU’s greatest week. For those of you who do not know what Little 500 is, the most basic definition I can give is a week of athletic, residential and just generally fun events, surrounding the Indiana University version of the famous Indianapolis 500 car race. I, on the other hand, believe that Welcome Week far surpasses the fun of Little 5. Welcome Week provides cram-packed days of RPS, Residence Hall Association, Union Board, and other campus club, planned events. And best of all, most of these events are free and include free food. Now, if you’re not in college yet, you will learn once you get here that the word “free”, when it truly means free, is one of the greatest words ever invented.

I think last year I was too overwhelmed and excited about finally being a college student that I didn’t realize the sweet set-up that is Welcome Week. While many other university students at schools across the country move-in just a few days before classes start, here at IU, freshmen Move-In Day is almost a full week before the beginning of the semester. Only in the sheer splendor that is Welcome Week do all the students of a university get to be together and on campus for five days with no classes but just fun events to attend.

Wednesday is a great day to get unpacked, walk around campus, meet the people on your floor and say goodbye to your parents. Thursday is filled with informative meetings and orientations, residence hall events, and a student favorite, CultureFest, where all the culturally-affiliated clubs fill 7th Street near the Showalter Fountain and IU Auditorium and students get to sample fantastic free food. Friday includes lots of open houses at different IU department buildings for students to get acquainted with the resources available to them, RecFest at the HPER Recreational Sports Center has more free food and fun games, Taste of the Union allows students to try free samples from the restaurants in the Indiana Memorial Union, and Midnight Madness gives students a chance to get all the things they realized they left at home at Walmart and win free prizes. Are you catching onto the importance and emphasis of “free”? Like I said, you’ll understand what I mean when you’re a broke college student.

The events go on and on the rest of the weekend, but this year I got the chance to experience a Welcome Week tradition that I skipped out on last year. I guess it was the rush of getting situated in my dorm and meeting new people that I missed the description for “Traditions and Spirit of IU”. This year as an RPS photographer and blogger, I was asked to cover the event by taking pictures. When given the assignment, I thought, “Sure, this could be fun, right?” Let’s just say that when I finished my walk up to Assembly Hall, I was greeted by one of the liveliest and most enthusiastic crowds I’ve seen in my life. Now, if you know anything about IU, you’re probably aware that sports hold a strong place in the tradition and spirit of Indiana University. “Traditions and Spirit” gives students the chance to hear directly from the head coaches of some of IU’s most prominent and successful sports programs about the upcoming seasons. The introductions of the teams is followed by a performance by the always stellar Marching Hundred, whose drum line put on quite a show during Friday’s event. Miss Indiana University teaches the fight song, and the cheer squad teaches some of the popular game cheers. As someone coming from out-of-state, nothing would have given me a better introduction to the heart of Cream and Crimson like “Traditions and Spirit”.

Future freshmen, please learn from my mistake. When it comes time for you to start at IU, go to everything and don’t miss out on the true IU traditions that start with Welcome Week.

Welcome to IU, Class of 2013! Hope you have a great start to your college career!