The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Campus activities adds new service and expands others

For this spring semester, Campus Activities has launched a few new and revamped services for students.

One of the new programs being offered by campus activities is “Dinner and a Movie.”
According to Noebeth Toro, coordinator of Campus Activities, students will be able to purchase a service package that consists of dinner at a themed restaurant, such as Mars 2112 in Times Square or Ninja NYC in SoHo, movie tickets and Metrocards.

“It’s a pretty fun event,” she said, “Students can bring a date or a group of friends and they can all have a great night.”

“Dinner and a Movie” will be part of the services offered in the “Experience New York” program, an already established series that offers discounted prices on tickets to Knicks games, shows on Broadway and other events.

Damien Duchamp, director of Campus Activities, said “Dinner and a Movie” was first tested last semester and received a favorable response, so it was officially added for this semester.

“Without Borders” is another relatively new service being offered by Campus Activities. This event also originated last year with students being given the opportunity to go on an overnight trip to Buffalo. They visited Niagara Falls and went to a Jets vs. Bills football game, said Duchamp.
Another trip is currently being planned for April with the next destination being either Boston, Washington D.C. or Philadelphia.

This activity has replaced the “Saturday Fun Express”, an event that brought students to various locations in the city every Saturday, including the Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall and the Museum of the City of New York.

Duchamp feels the change was much needed.
“It’s not that we won’t go to those places anymore, it’s just that we weren’t getting many students interested in these trips, so it seemed like a waste of our resources,” he said.

He adds, “When we did our first overnight trip [to Buffalo], it was so successful that we thought it would be better to save our resources and go with a few overnight trips a year, instead of a trip every Saturday.”

A completely new program being launched is the Coffee House series, which is being helped funded by Student Government.

The coffee house events will feature local acts performing in accordance to the show’s theme of the night, which will range from comedy and poetry to different genres of music.

The first event is scheduled for March 7 and will be held in the storm center in the University Center (UC).

According to Jen Panzarella, assistant director for Campus Activities, the idea for such a program has been tossed around for years but “we needed the interest and support to be there”.

“Many student organizations have had open-mic nights in the past and they’ve been pretty successful,” she said, “We are hoping to expand on that idea and put it in a different light.”

The aim of the coffee house is to provide a laid-back and relaxed venue for students to experience up-and-coming acts.

“We’re trying to bring a real coffee house-like feel to the event,” said Panzarella. “We are going to have a nice backdrop on stage, chairs, tables and we’re also going to be working with outside vendors to bring in coffee, smoothies and snacks, to add to the atmosphere.”

She plans to hold a coffee house event once a month this semester. If the series takes off and becomes successful, there are plans to hold shows more frequently with the ultimate goal being one show a week in an actual coffee house setting in the new UC when it is completed in the future.

“I hope it becomes a program students become accustomed to and something they look forward to because it’s really something different,” Panzarella said.

Duchamp seems proud of the range of services Campus Activities offer.

“The reality is that all students are wired differently,” he said.

“With these activities you can have a nice meal, see different sights, see an athletic event and be exposed to different things. So we have a little bit of everything for everyone.

“But the big thing is, you can get away,” added the director of Campus Activities.
Sophomore Winson Philipose also seems enthusiastic about the variety of experiences being offered.

“I like the fact that they have so many ideas to help cater to so many different students,” he said. “It’s good to see that they have a little bit of everything.”

Others seem more eager for specific events.
“Personally, I’m not interested in all the activities but there are some I’d look into, like the coffee house,” said sophomore Nick Caselli.

“It sounds like a fun thing to do.”
Christina Zaccarelli, a student, says, “I think [the coffee house] is a good idea but it just depends on what they are going to have.”

“I’d probably check it out and if it’s something I like, I’ll come back for more.”

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