January 19, 1999

UPB plans active semester

by Josh Renaud
staff assistant

Recent snow and ice storms may have transformed UM-St. Louis into a bleak, desolate winter wonderland, but Carrie Mowen, director of the University Program Board, said there is hope. Members of the UPB hope to promote a vibrant campus spirit by hosting a variety of programs and events this semester.

Last semester, more students took advantage of UPB-sponsored events, Mowen said. This semester, she said, they are working to reach people who don't normally participate in campus activities.

"The people who are involved in campus organizations all tend to be the same people," she explained. "We want the general population to know that they are going to have fun. We really want people to get involved."

One of the programs Mowen believes will encourage students to get together is the international film series. Movies will be shown twice each Thursday, once for day students and again later for evening students.

"Since we are co-sponsoring with the Spanish Club to carry out this event," she said, "every other week we will show a Spanish film and then another country the next week. So every other week we will have a different movie from a different land to satisfy our very diverse student population."

"Experience St. Louis" was a successful program last semester that will continue during the winter semester. Barbara Nelson, chair of the Experience St. Louis Committee, explained that through Experience St. Louis, students will have the chance to see productions such as "Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk," "Bourbon at the Border," and "The Taming of the Shrew." Trips are planned to Powell Symphony Hall, the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, and the Fox Theatre. The events will be free, she said, but a $10 deposit will be required to hold a ticket until the actual performance.

"Everyone rides the buses down to each [Experience St. Louis] event," Nelson said. "We are trying to develop more of a campus community feel, so [students] get to know people and become familiar with them."

A college bowl is also in the works, Mowen said. The format will be like a combination of "Jeopardy" and "Family Feud," she explained, with teams competing to answer questions correctly.

"'The varsity sport of the mind' is what some people call it," she said. "The questions are pretty goofy, but it is basically general knowledge. People need to start putting together teams if they want to get ready and start practicing."

Marsha Nored, chair of the Recreational Events Committee, was excited about a number of events she has helped to plan. Among them is a Super Bowl party students can attend at the University Meadows on Jan. 31.

"It's going to be a non-alcoholic Super Bowl party," she said. "There will be food and beverages, plus random door prizes. We're going to have all the pre-game shows going, and we might have card games and board games beforehand."

Lots of other fun stuff will be happening throughout the semester, Nored said. A ski trip to Hidden Valley is being planned for February, she said, as well as a Twister competition in March, a St. Louis Blues game in April, and a horseback riding event also in April.

Mowen was excited to announce that Mirthday will be held on Apr. 21. She didn't want to give away many details about what to expect, but she said it would be a must-attend event.

Mowen also touted a new incentive program designed to encourage people to participate both in Mirthday and in other UPB-sponsored events.

"We have decided to give away 'UPB dollars' at every event we sponsor," she said. "People will be able to use the UPB dollars in exchange for [food] on Mirthday and not have to spend any money on food."

All dates and events are subject to change, Mowen said. Any student interested in getting more details about the various programs and events should contact the UPB by calling 516-5531 or by calling the Office of Student Activities at 516-5291.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Current.

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