BY JESS PIKE
Mary Washington students have new options for their free time. The Office of Student Activities and Community Services plan new events for the upcoming months it appears that UMW students have new options for their free time.
The first of these programs will be a large-scale late night series held in the Washroom at Woodard Campus Center. During these events students can listen to a major band, watch an up and coming comic, or play an intense organized game while also enjoying the Eagles Nest food.
In addition, in the Washroom, every Friday night, OSACS is sponsoring small performances by local artists. Beginning this Friday, there is going to be a performance by “Me & Jo” an acoustic guitar duo playing from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Nest.
OSACS has already started working with dining services to have karaoke nights every Thursday. Different student organizations could have the opportunity to serve as hosts and sponsor the event each week. Karaoke nights will most likely take place between 9 p.m. and midnight.
These exciting new programs come as a result of a new OSACS Director, Joe Mollo. Hired June 25 2007, Mollo came to the University of Mary Washington after serving as the director of campus activities and events at the University of Maine. Mollo had previously known Dean Rucker from their involvement with the National Association for Campus Activities.
“New staff members bring new ideas and we know this year’s staff is enthusiastic and dedicated in getting students involved,” said Dean Rucker, head of student life.
OSACS employees have big plans for the current year and the future of Mary Washington.
Making use of new spaces and expanding the venue of campus activities is a focus of Mollo and his staff. The downtown Fredericksburg museum marketplace will be used for concerts throughout the year. If plans go through, a Thursday night dusk concert will be held during homecoming week.
“This marketplace venue gives students the opportunity to go downtown and enjoy some good music,” said Mollo.
Another would-be venue is the backroom of the Pizza Hut located on 1224 Powhatan St.
Mike Marney has presented UMW with an opportunity to use the newly renovated back room which sits 142 people. Mollo is currently looking into this as another possible site for school programs and events.
The Seacobeck Dome is another possible site either for programs or as a place where students can do some late night studying. Both Mollo and Dr. Chirico, Vice President for Student Affairs, support converting the Seaco dome into a new space for students.
However, “Safety is an issue,” warned Dr. Chirico. If made into a twenty four hour study lounge or student activity center, key card systems would have to be put in place.
Another project the new employees at OSACS are working on is, in conjunction with Giant Productions, to purchase the latest sound equipment. Right now, according to Mollo, “Mary Washington spends $3,000 to rent equipment for drive-in movies.” Yet, if this sound equipment were bought it would be portable, available all the time, and offer more flexibility.
Without a doubt there is a change in the air within the office of student activities.
Sean O’ Brien, SGA press secretary and ARH treasurer notices the changing atmosphere within the OSACS office and commented, “They are great changes, and Mollo brings much needed energy to the position.”
New programs, changes in available venues, possible purchases, along with the traditional programs like homecoming and Rocktoberfest fest are set up to keep everyone busy in the next few weeks. “There sure is a buzz around campus,” said Dr. Chirico.
Mollo reminded students to read the weekly OSACS e-mail newsletter and spread the word about upcoming events. In addition, if student organizations have future activities or programs to announce email the information to: firstname.lastname@example.org and it will appear in the next weekly email newsletter.