The Chief Tester: Suitcase packed with reasons to stay

By Nadine Tester

This past weekend, the men’s basketball team played its last two home games. The events attracted a large number of students, who ended up spending the weekend at Rider to help cheer the team on.

Throughout the season, basketball has encouraged students to stay on campus more, which is different than previous years. The games, which are usually played on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, make going home difficult for students who want to see them, so staying on campus is an easy decision.

I know that the weekends the basketball team is away or not playing, the campus is a ghost town. However, now that there are no more home games for the basketball teams, other groups and student organizations are stepping up to help keep students here for the weekend. These groups have begun planning their activities, which in the past have had high turnouts, on Saturdays.

The Student Entertainment Council (SEC) usually has activities planned on Friday nights, which a good number of students attend. Things like Bronc Bingo and Bronc Buffets generally have enticing themes, and good prizes or food and have gained a loyal group of people who go every time. However, students often leave for home the next morning, which still leaves a dead campus for the next two days.

Recently, SEC hosted a lecture by Tory Belleci of Mythbusters on a Saturday, and it actually had a good turnout. Of course, this was also a weekend where a lot of students stayed on campus for the basketball games, but SEC has the right idea of making the lecture on a weekend, instead of a Wednesday or Thursday night.

This Saturday the Office of Campus Life will be hosting its annual University Ball, which should attract a pretty big crowd. The event is an opportunity for people to get dressed up and have a nice meal. Also, the University Ball allows students to bring one guest from off campus. This may help attendance because instead of going home to see a friend or significant other, they may just invite them here. The ball is only $25 per person, which is a small fee that won’t break the bank for most of us.

Another event that is looked forward to each year is the SEC-sponsored Spring Concert, which will be on Saturday, April 12. SEC is keeping who is playing a secret for now, but the concert always has a high number of students who attend. This year, SEC planned the concert for a Saturday instead of Thursday like in previous years. By planning it on a weekend, SEC has noticed that Rider needs more students throughout the weekend, and they’re taking steps towards making it easier and more fun to stay here.

Although the previous events are only a small sample of what goes on at Rider, it is obvious that various groups are trying to plan more activities for the weekends. SEC-sponsored movies, Bronc Bingo and Bronc Buffets aren’t enough to keep students here. More organizations need to make planning weekend activities a priority, which hopefully will encourage more Rider students to leave their suitcases in their closets, and spend Friday through Sunday here.

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