By Ollie Gratzinger | Asst. Features Editor
As the holidays wind down and the spring semester sets in, it’s time to kiss candy canes and sleeping ‘till noon goodbye. Those responsibilities you’ve been ignoring for the past month are coming back with a vengeance, and textbooks sure aren’t going to read themselves. But fear not — as life returns to its normal, routine pace and students return to the Bluff, Duquesne’s calendar is full of new and exciting events for you to attend. Hopefully, they’ll help you to de-stress, get involved and remember just how much fun the campus community can be.
Even though January is the month during which students take the time to get adjusted to their new schedules and course loads, there’s still a ton of fun things going on around campus and beyond to ward off that dreaded boredom.
The first event takes place on Jan. 17 in the Student Union Atrium with day one of the Spring Student Organization Expo. Here, you can find some information about different organizations around campus that you might want to get involved with. This event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day until Jan. 20.
Also on Jan. 20, get to know Duquesne’s fraternities and learn a little about the recruitment process at a “Meet the Fraternities” event in the Power Center Ballroom. This is also a great opportunity for you to grab a schedule of the events taking place during Rush Week, as well as to determine whether or not Greek Life is for you.
Jan. 18 kicks off sorority season with a casual “Meet the Sororities” event in the Union Ballroom. If you plan on rushing, this will be a great opportunity to get to know what they’re all about before formal recruitment begins on Jan. 23.
Since it’s going to be cold out, you might as well enjoy it with some winter recreation. On Jan. 28, the Center for Student Involvement kicks off its Outdoor Adventure Series with a skiing and snowboarding trip to Seven Springs. Bundle up, get out there and above all, try not to break anything.
As per university tradition, February is for the Founders. Starting on Feb. 1, a week of dinners, talks and other activities centered around Spiritan education will be held to celebrate and honor the legacy, visions and values of Duquesne’s founding fathers.
Don’t miss comedian Dave Coulier as he takes the stage in the Union Ballroom on Feb. 16. Best known as Uncle Joey in the beloved, long-running “Full House” — and more recently for reprising the role in Netflix’s original series, “Fuller House” — he’s sure to bring you a good laugh that’ll whisk all that mid-semester stress away.
Support campus entertainment by going out on Feb. 16 to see the Red Masquers, Duquesne’s own theater group, perform the world premiere of “Rust” by Pittsburgh playwright F.J. Hartland. The show will be comedic, but other than that, the plot has been a well-kept secret. “Rust” will run until Feb. 26, so find some time in those ten days to see what all the buzz is about.
If poetry is your thing, the Genesius Theater has something for you, too. On Feb. 22, the spring semester’s first Coffee House Reading will take place. Here, established writers come to present their work alongside that of students with the goal of furthering creative writing and literary arts within the campus community.
The Red Masquers are at it again on March 15, performing the punk-rock “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.” Chronicling the founding of America’s Democratic Party with a comedic, theatrical spin, it’s a must-see for history buffs, rock aficionados and theater lovers alike.
Don’t forget to check out the Union Ballroom on March 18 for Phi Kappa Theta’s annual Monte Carlo Night. $10 will buy you $10,000 worth of play money so that you can try your luck in Vegas-style gambling games like roulette, blackjack and poker. With semi-formal attire required, this event is the closest you can get to a high-end Las Vegas casino without having to leave the ‘Bluff. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, so be there for one of the only guilt-free gambling experiences you’ll encounter in your life.
March 23 brings in the second installment of this semester’s Coffee House Readings. Come to the Genesius Theater to hear poetry read aloud by professional writers.
On March 30, the Red Masquers will perform the Pulitzer Prize winning show “Proof.” Unlike the other shows to look forward to this semester, “Proof” goes a little bit heavier on the drama with the telling of a story about a professor-slash-mathematical-genius and her struggle with mental illness. The show will run until April 9, so grab a box of tissues and don’t miss out!
On April 5, the third and final installment of this semester’s Coffee House Readings will feature both fiction and nonfiction selections at the Genesius Theater.
The Red Masquers close out a semester of great shows with their production of “True West” on April 26. With a drama depicting the relationship between two brothers who couldn’t be any more different, the play is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’ll only run until April 30, so see it while you can.
Come to the Union Ballroom on April 28 for the Spirit of Diversity Dinner. Hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, this event celebrates the importance of diversity on our campus and beyond.
Even though each month sees its fair share of interesting events, there are quite a few things happening regularly to keep an eye out for.
If you ever have a free evening that you don’t know what to do with, look no further than the NiteSpot. Sundays see service programs, Mondays host tournaments and Tuesdays encourage students to get creative with “Make Your Own Nite.” On Wednesday, there’s a variety of entertainment options, and Thursday is Ladies Nite, featuring activities such as painting to help you unwind. Kick off the weekend right with the Duquesne Program Council’s (DPC) DUNites on Fridays, where everything from epic bingo to piggy-bank painting can be found, and treat yourself to a movie every Saturday.
Speaking of movies, the DPC hosts a weekly film series, also in the NiteSpot, and this semester’s line-up includes exciting new titles such as “Arrival,” “Moana,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Dr. Strange,” “Hidden Figures,” “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Passengers” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
Every Wednesday, free PB&J sandwiches can be found in the Commuter Center around lunch time. They’re made-to-order by none other than Duquesne’s own faculty, so if you’ve ever wanted to put your professors to work for a change, check it out!
If you’re interested in the more political aspects of campus life, be sure to attend the Student Government Association’s weekly meetings every Sunday, starting on Jan. 15 in room 203 of the Law School.
On a similar note, the DPC meets in room 613 of the Union every Monday, starting on Jan. 23. If you’ve got a mind for planning and a love of all things campus entertainment, this is a great way for you to get involved and plan some fun activities in the process.
There you have it, folks! There’s a little something for everybody going on at Duquesne this semester. Whether you’re interested in a day out in nature, an opportunity to let your creative side shine or just a laugh among friends, you can find it all here. When you’ve got a break in coursework and a few hours to spare, pull this guide out from your desk drawer and check out some of the happenings around campus. You won’t regret it.