More weekend activities are in the works

More weekend activities are in the works

by Morgan Perkins

A recently proposed program is re-examining the complex issue of how to entice Simpson students to stay on campus on the weekends.

The idea is to have more options for entertainment and involvement with a late-night activities program that would run each Friday night from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to Rich Ramos, assistant dean of students, an average Friday night might include discounted movies, karaoke at the grill, breakfast buffet, Cowles open gym, bowling, the RLC coffee shop and any other campus activities going on, including the Underground.

Ramos said these are just some starting ideas for activities and that other ideas could also work. “The more the better,” Ramos said.

Although the program may seem new to the people of Simpson, Ramos said it originated from West Virginia University about five to seven years ago and was then called ‘Up All Night’.

Ramos said the college has been considering this type of program for many months now. “There had been minor discussion about it previously and prior to September 11,” Ramos said. “We were going to send people to West Virginia University to attend a conference about it.”

The trend seems to be gaining recognition at campuses around the country. Ramos said he read a recent article in Programming Magazine, published by National Association for Campus Activities, and decided to look into the idea further.

“This is a fairly substantial undertaking that will adjust the times that we work on campus,” Ramos said.

“It has to be a whole campus event for this to work,” Ramos said.

The estimated budget of this new idea is around $40,000-50,000, according to Ramos, but he hopes to bring that number down through the financial support of major campus organizations.

“Hopefully other groups will contribute,” Ramos said. “Contributions from RLC, Student Development, Residence Life and others would help reduce the amount down to $13,000-$14,000.”

With the money and planning involved, it will take some time to get the program organized. Ramos said he anticipates that the program won’t be off its feet until sometime next fall.

“It would be nice if we could do it in the spring, but everybody’s budget has already been allocated,” Ramos said.

Ramos wants two main things to come from this idea. First, he wants to eliminate the complaint that “there’s nothing going on,” and secondly, to provide enough variety for students to do what they want to do

If the program is successful, Ramos said it will make people stay around on the weekends and participate more on campus. “We want this to be an alternative to the traditional activities of going home or to the bar,” Ramos said.