Fall preview: Rutgers looks forward to event-packed season
With the fall semester well underway, University clubs and organizations are helping mitigate the anticipation of Halloween with fun activities throughout the coming months.
The initiative to increase student involvement is central to the all-inclusive environment set forth by the University, which hopes to take advantage of seasonal changes and a fresh semester and have students partake in new and interesting activities.
Lauren Larsen, assistant director of Arts and Culture for the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA), said the organization constantly looks to implement new ideas into the upcoming year while returning old favorites, such as Scarlet Harvest — an event that promises free food and live music on Cook campus — to the catalog.
"Beats on the Banks" will also be returning as the annual fall concert with an undisclosed musical performance, Larsen said. Students should keep a close eye for announcements as the show promises to feature an artist students will not want to miss.
Additional events include an unannounced guest lecturer that Larsen said is an influential figure in society and someone students can resonate with. A smaller event featured is "Quizzos," the themed trivia night held at Henry’s Diner, featuring prizes for winning teams and a slew of fans waiting to prove they know the most.
Previous years have hosted themes including "The Office," "Game of Thrones," "Friends" and "Harry Potter," always looking to bring out friendly competition from pop culture’s most committed fandom, according to their site.
In organizing these events, RUPA relies on its council of 40 members selected by the organization, Larsen said. From there the group splits into subcommittees that govern select events in order to produce a diverse roster of activities available to all students.
“That’s why some of our events have themes that cater to certain groups, but really we want to get everyone involved," she said. "You can reach out to us on our website or social media account, we always try and take student advice into account for anything that’s feasible. Coming out to events and letting us know in person is also very helpful.”
For a majority of RUPA-run events, there is no additional charge for students and these events provide an outlet to have fun in new ways, Larsen said.
“If you want to get more involved in our organization you can come out to interest meetings. You can meet RUPA council members and become a general member yourself. From there, you can have more of an impact and provide more feedback for events. We love to see more and more students coming out,” she said.
Anthony Mollica, assistant director of the Concerts and Coffeehouse Committee, said students looking to help the University can sign up for Scarlet Day of Service. The event, which is Sept. 23, brings together 1,000 students to aid in different service projects across New Jersey. Registration is now open for students.
“The Community Service committee has been working really hard securing community partners and marketing to get the word out to the students. This will be my third year on RUPA. I am really excited about this year because I am able to get a more behind-the-scenes look to some of RUPA's signature concert events,” he said.
Upcoming shows include the Hospitality Lead for the Fall Kick-Off Concert featuring Bad Suns this Friday, Mollica said. Future shows and events can be found on the group’s social media.
Nicole Cavallo, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said she remained fairly uninvolved as a first-year transfer student last semester, but took part in the community by helping distribute flyers for eco-friendly initiatives around campus.
Looking forward to the first fall semester as a Scarlet Knight means an opportunity to engage in new activities like club soccer and see more of what the University’s progressive culture has to offer, Cavallo said.
“I’d like to see more activism on campus rooted in the school itself, other than that I think there are so many resources here that it is hard to pick out something they are not doing,” she said.
Christian Zapata is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. He is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.