When Charlotte Cerf ’11 meandered through Usdan last Thursday night, she was confused to find cookies, coffee and tea displayed on tables downstairs.
Cerf had come across a new weekly program sponsored by the Usdan Center Activities Board (UCAB). Composed of 10 students, UCAB plans events that are open to the entire student body and include free food.
“The administration wants us to get people to like this building [Usdan],” said board member Stephanie Gomory ’10. “Personally, I just want people to be able to do stuff on Thursday nights that isn’t just partying. Hopefully we can encourage more people to hang out here.”
According to Gomory, the board has had difficulty publicizing their events, as most students don’t know it exists, and also don’t realize that its events are open to everyone.
Cerf, for example, hadn’t heard of UCAB until she stumbled upon the Thursday night event. “I’ve just never heard about them so I’ve never gone,” she said.
So far this year, the UCAB has hosted an outdoor movie showing of “Blades of Glory” and an open mic night.
Advised by Assistant Director of Student Activities Nicole Chabot, UCAB was modeled after the Campus Center Activities Board previously found in Davenport, the former campus center.
“The goal for this year is to help build community in Usdan,” Chabot said. “A more specific goal for the year is to get the word about UCAB out.”
Events start at 9 p.m. on Thursdays, and the board also hosts bimonthly events on Saturdays.
“They are always substance -free,” said board member Lexi Sturdy ’10.
The board’s budget comes from funds that are unregulated by the Wesleyan Student Assembly and are specifically allotted to specific Usdan programs. Thursday night events usually cost from $300 to $500, while Saturday night events can cost as much as $1,000, according to Chabot. She also said that the 10 student board members, who went through an application and interview process, each receive a $500 stipend for their work.
“We alternate leading weekly Thursday events and bimonthly Saturday events,” Sturdy said. “I joined this year because I wanted to get involved in general campus leadership, and the campus center was new, so it was a way to be the first to create an atmosphere.”
Some upcoming events include an open mic night on Nov. 1, a karaoke night on Nov. 8, a scavenger hunt on Nov. 15 and a campfire night with s’mores on Nov. 29.
On Dec. 1, the board is planning an Iron Chef-style competition. Groups will be given a basket of food and will be judged on what dish they can create.
“We have yet to pick the secret ingredient,” Chabot said.
Currently there are no open spots on the board. In the spring, however, spots may open up if current members decide to go abroad. Applications for 2008-2009 board members will also be available in the spring.
“[They are] activities where you can meet new people and have fun in a relaxed environment,” Sturdy said. “And there’s free food.”
“We couldn’t be happier that we got married here,” Kingsley said.