New semester brings new activities on campus and beyond


By Ollie Gratzinger | Opinons/Features Editor

Now that we are all back on the Bluff after what was hopefully a nice and relaxing break, it is time to get back into the swing of things with a bunch of activities on campus that will make home feel a little less far away.

Coming up on campus, Duquesne University’s Musical Therapy program is hosting a drum circle on Friday, Jan. 18 at noon in the Dr. Thomas D. Pappert Center for Performance and Innovation. According to Campus Link, this event will be “a safe place to come out and try new things.” The description adds that “this is a facilitated circle and [the] goal is to guide the group to be the most musical and safe environment for everyone that it can be.”

On Monday, Jan. 21, classes won’t meet in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A lot of informative happenings, many of which will be sponsored or co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will be held over the next few days, including an event series called Living Legacy 2019. Included in this lineup will be the Athletic Challenge, a set of student volleyball and basketball tournaments in the Power Center at 1 p.m. on Monday, as well as the Student Dialogue to be held in the Africa Room at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The Spring Student EXPO will begin on Jan. 22 on the second floor of the Student Union and continue until Jan. 25. Students can stop by any day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to learn more about the clubs and organizations on campus. Campus Link lists “free stuff” as a perk for showing up, and who doesn’t like getting free things?

Duquesne Program Council (DPC) kicks off the Spring Film Series with Crazy Rich Asians, showing on Thursday, Jan. 24 and Friday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. in the NiteSpot. Venom will be showing at the same times and in the same place on Jan. 31, Feb. 1 and Feb. 2. Other planned films include A Star is Born, Creed II, The Mummy, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Mary Poppins and Aquaman.

DPC DUNites include the classic Build-a-Bear Night in the NiteSpot at 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. Milkshake Night will be the following on Friday, Feb. 15, pottery painting on Friday, Feb. 22 and more to come after Spring Break, which will happen March 4-9.

On Feb. 11, students can buy discounted tickets to Phantom of the Opera starting at 8:30 a.m. in 305 Union. The musical will be showing at the Benedum Center on Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are sponsored through the DPC, will cost $20 and are limited to one ticket per Duquesne ID. Students have to be present at the time of purchase, so you can’t take your friend’s ID and buy more than one ticket, and tickets will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Students should not be afraid to venture off of campus, too. Pittsburgh might be a smaller city, but there are plenty of things to do if you need a change of scenery.

You can take either of the two historic inclines up the hill to Mount Washington and walk around, enjoying beautiful scenic overlooks, restaurants and shops. Fare to ride is under $3 per person, and if you are into photography, you can find views that are a must-see for anyone looking to see Pittsburgh in a new light.

A short walk down to Market Square can make for an afternoon of fun. With a giant ice rink situated at the heart of PPG Place, our metropolitan cityscape can be transformed into a winter wonderland. You can pick up a hot chocolate at the rink or head into one of the many restaurants around Market Square to warm up and grab a bite to eat.

If you do not mind a 30-minute walk (or a short bus ride on the 86), the Strip District offers the most authentic Pittsburgh vibes you’ll ever find. Neat shops line Penn Avenue, selling everything from Pittsburgh gear and handmade clothing to metalworks and flowers.

With a bunch of classic diners, including the first Primanti Brothers, De Luca’s, Kelly-O’s and Pamela’s, as well as a Polish deli, sushi places, a handful of Asian-inspired restaurants and tacos galore, there’s literally something for everyone in the Strip. Even your picky friends can find something from one of the street vendors, and you can pick up dessert at one of the candy shops on your way back. The best is Grandpa Joe’s, an essential stop for anyone with a sweet tooth. From vintage sodas to foreign candies to classics that’ll bring back childhood nostalgia you forgot you even had, it is a crowd-pleaser for sure.

With so much to do, there’s no reason not to make the most of your time here at Duquesne and in the ‘Burgh. Everyone needs a breather, so don’t hesitate to plan a day out or a night in. This is hardly an exhaustive list of everything Duquesne has going on, but rather just a blurb to highlight some of the most popular events you can look forward to this semester. Be sure to check Campus Link, social media and billboards in dorms and academic buildings for other things that might pique your interest.