New from Urbana Poppin' Champaign
It looks like they are bringing the Chief back in style.
Get it at: http://upcdotfm.bigcartel.com/
Last year, U of I conducted a survey asking students about their views on smoking. Apparently, after the results were tabulated, there was a consensus against smoking on campus and just this week, Chancellor Phyllis Wise sent out a mass mail alerting students that Urbana will be a smoke free zone starting late next year.
This is similar to bans all across the country outlawing smoking in public areas, bars, restaurants and even whole cities. Since the majority of people in most areas don't smoke, it is easy for them to organize, or at least not take action against bans such as this. However, it's quite a controversial topic, as I'm sure you can imagine.
It is already illegal in Illinois to smoke within 15 feet of public buildings, but this new law would making smoking in the Urbana part of campus totally illegal.
The extra controversy in this case comes from the fact that in a survey distributed by the University of Illinois to a random sampling of students and staff, "About half of both students and employees indicated they are in favor of establishing a 100 percent tobacco-free campus." So apparently, half of the opinions of the people were pro-ban, but that also means half of the people were not. There appears to be some forces behind this new ban that may not be entirely represented by the student body. I wouldn't qualify a 50/50 split hard evidence to make a ban of this nature. Of course, smoking does have very serious health hazards and the school wants to make this a safe campus, but should something so overarching and strict such as this be applied?
For example, many students ride mopeds around to get to their classes. These little bikes spew out carcinogenic fumes that many bystanders inhale while walking to class. It's the students personal decision of they want to ride the mopeds to get to class faster but harm the environment and other students health, similar to cigarette smoking. Obviously, this example isn't entirely equivalent to smoking, but it at least gets you thinking, should the University be outlawing situations like this for the "greater good" of the people?
Feel free to chime in about all of this in the comments section or on twitter.
Biking around campus saves you tons of time, it's a great way to exercise and is way more fun than walking around. There are plenty of places to lock your bike up all around town and the bike lane infrastructure is excellent. Bringing a bike to school is highly suggested! Make sure to stop at stop signs while you're riding though, the police don't hesitate to hand out some hefty tickets.
Here is a list of links that you're going to want to check out if you bring a bike to school or have any interest in cycling:
http://thebikeproject.org/ - This is a non for profit group that works with the university and has tools, advice and parts for free! You can also buy a very cheap repair bike or if you're more hands on, you can even build your own bike! They have extremely cheap bike frames and parts and you can store your work in progress in the shop. You should definitely check this place out if you own a bike or are looking to buy one.
GoogleMapsBikeLocks - This is a Google Map display of all of the designated places on campus where you can lock your bike. Generally, there's almost always a bike lock in sight, but if you're headed to campus and want to find a nice place to put your bike when you get there, check this map out.
http://illini4000.org/ - This club goes on a yearly cross country trip during the summer on bikes! If you love to cycle, you should check this link out. It also raises money for cancer research and care, so you should at least donate if you don't ride.
http://www.illinicycling.com/ - This club goes on weekly rides around campus and nearby towns. It's a good idea to have a decent street bike before you go on a ride as they keep a brisk pace, but it’s a great workout, you see some cool scenery and meet some awesome people.
http://prairiecycle.wordpress.com/ - This is an Champaign/Urbana based cycling group. They go on weekly rides and have rides with different speeds, from leisurely to race pace.
http://champaigncycle.com/ - This is a local bike shop. They have bikes to sell and also will do repairs at reasonable rates.
http://www.durstcycle.com/ - Durst Cycle has a very large select of new bikes and has lots of repair parts, inner tubes and helmets. Some of the staff are a little rude and the prices are a tad on the high side, but they have the best selection around.
http://flatsfixedbicycles.com/ - Flats Fixed bicycles repairs bikes for a decent price and offers a number of used, high quality bikes for sale. Check the website often as the stock changes quickly though.
http://bakersbikes.com/ - Bakers Bikes an Urbana bike shop with a friendly staff and a number of bikes and accessories.
Moving into you new dorm is going to be one of the first real college experiences you're going to have. It's definitely going to be exciting, but can be a little daunting and confusing at first. This guide is designed to give you a good idea of what moving in requires as well as a few tips to help speed up the process.
First off, before you head to U of I, make sure you know when you're supposed to go. (duh) Check out the University Housing website to check the list of dates and times your allowed to move in without getting hit with a early move in fee. U of I Early Move-in Dates
When you first arrive during move in day, the first thing you are going to want to do is head to the front desk of the dorm. There, you will pick up your keys to your room and find out about the unloading process. It's a good idea to go to your room first, make sure you know where it is and that there are no major issues with it before you bring your stuff up. After you check out your new room, head back outside and try to find a spot for your car in the unloading lane.
The university has already done a number of things to help make the move in process easier for you, so keep these things in mind.
1) Most dorms will have unpacking lanes in front of the dorm. They're there for you to temporarily park your car and unload the major items you need to carry up to your room. They're great because it can be very difficult finding a close parking spot and carrying a refrigerator a half a mile to the dorms is a pain.
2) Ask for a cart at the front desk. Not every dorm will have carts available, but many have some type of pull cart you can load stuff on to and roll up to your room. If you already own one, it’s a great idea to bring it.
3) Some dorms will also have designated unloading workers who work for housing call I-Guides. They generally just help the cars in the unloading lane, but you can also ask them questions or for directions. Be careful though, always have someone go with the I-Guide when they bring your stuff up to your room. Otherwise, they may bring it to the wrong room and you don't want to have to track down all of your clothes the first night.
Take advantage of as many of these as you can. Depending on how many people are also unloading and how much you've packed, it may take you from an hour to five hours to fully unload everything from your car into your dorm, so plan accordingly. Try to just get everything out of your car into your dorm and unpack your boxes after. It will be a lot quicker than unpacking boxes in your dorm and then bringing the empty boxes back down to your car while you unload.
Communicating with your roommate beforehand is also a good idea to figure out who's bringing the refrigerator/microwave and who wants the top or bottom bunk. If you plan on brining refrigerated food, you're going to want to make sure there's a refrigerator you can put it in once you get there. Also, it might be a good idea to move in at slightly different times. This way, you don’t have two families trying to fill a tiny dorm room with tons of boxes at the same time. It will give one person the chance to unpack a little and clear a space for the other person to move in.
When you unpack your boxes in your dorm, try and do a good job putting things in a good spot that will last a year. Don't just throw all your pens and pencils and calculators and rulers into a giant pile in a drawer. Try and organize everything now and don’t just say "oh I'll do it later", because chances are you won't. I know I tried to unpack quickly by just throwing things in a drawer, which lasted that way for a year and looked the same when I packed up to go home for the summer.
Good luck, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and we will answer ASAP
Here are a few links that may help you with move-in day.
U of I Move-in Map - This is a map of where you can/can't park, which street you should take to get to your dorm and where the unloading lanes are.
Important Move-in Dates - This is a list of move-in dates listing which days are early move-in days and when meals begin.
I Card Link - Here is information regarding what identification you need to bring to get your icard and where to get one.
Dorm Room Information and Dimensions - Information about the size and location or dorm rooms in each residence hall. It will tell you the layout of your room depending on its room number and location inside the dorm.
It looks like our poor Natural History building is going to be under construction for at least another year. In typical University of Illinois fashion, another spending scandal has hit the funding for renovations to the building. Apparently, the construction firm hired to complete renovations, BLDD Architects, is partially owned by the husband of Jill Maxey, the university's associate director of planning. While this isn't entirely illegal, U of I never reported this potential conflict of interest to the state of Illinois. So when this was discovered, the university received a stern, disapproving look from state officials and then decided to end all involvement with BLDD. Unfortunately, this is after we already paid the company $368,000.
The second lowest bidder, BauerLatoza Studio, will now hopefully finish the renovations.
Full News Story: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-20/news/ct-met-u-of-i-contract-0720-20120720_1_rebid-controversial-contract-architectural-firm
It happens. You're a freshman stuck in the dorms on a Friday night and have such an itch to get schwasted in your dorm room with your buddies, you have to scratch it.
You've got a few handles and a pack of beer with you to celebrate you’re A+’s on you last math test. As the night goes on, your booze infused party gets louder and louder, until your quiet neighbor reports you for noise. Uh oh.
If this is your going to college for the first time this year, or living in the dorms...
Know what to do next:
Your all having a great time playing a little circle, when next thing you know, there’s a loud knock on your door and you hear “RA Open Up”. Everyone freezes and goes silent. Not a good feeling. Here’s a guide of what to do next:
Realize the situation you are in:
a) There’s a group of semi drunk kids if your dorm, meaning they’re probably not going to do/say the smartest things
b) There’s open liquor and beer cans laying around your room
c) Your breathe and room smell like alcohol
d) There has already been a noise complaint filed against you, meaning the RA’s already have a reason to be at your room are suspicious of alcohol
React as fast and as smoothly as possible, try not to let the RA’s know your hiding anything.
Quickly follow these steps.
a) Pass around a pack of gum to get rid of the beer breathe
b) Have the person who lives in the room slip out of the door without letting the RA’s see inside. Then chat up the RA’s and stall for as long as possible.
As soon as you slip out of the door the RA will be firm
RA: Open your door, I need to see inside, if you do not I will call the University Police.
You: Oh I’m really sorry, are we being too loud? I just have a few friends over and were watching the game.
RA: Yes, you already have a noise complaint and I smell alcohol. Open your door.
You: We haven’t been drinking anything tonight, just watching TV. I’m really sorry, I’ll tell everyone to keep it down.
RA: Open your door now please or else I am going to call the police.
While that person is outside, have everyone else clean up the room and hide the booze as quietly as possible. Turn on a YouTube video loud or TV. Make it seem like your just sitting there watching something, not drinking.
By this time, hopefully everyone inside has cleaned up the place and did a good job of hiding the booze. There’s not much else you can say beyond this point and the more you stall, the more suspicious the RA will get.
Open the door and let them look inside. They may enter and search around. Hopefully your buddies did a good job of hiding stuff. If they did, the RA will come in, poke around a bit and then tell you to be quiet and possibly that your friends need to leave. You shouldn’t get a fine as long as you pass it off well enough that you don’t have any booze. Just be as casual as possible and be genuine and compliant. Keep saying you’re sorry and you will keep it down now and with a bit of luck, you’ll make it off with just a slap on the wrist.
-Good Luck ;)
Here's the latest edition to our new University of Illinois Housing section - Read these before you pick where you're staying this year.
ISR (Illinois Street Residence Hall)
So the commonly held (and pretty accurate) perception of ISR is
that is filled with engineers. It’s true. It’s the closest University dorm to the Engineering quad, which is why there are so many interesting* kids who live there. It’s always amusing to go to dinner there and see the amusing assortment of characters.
Food wise, it’s ok. There’s usually a decent selection, but overall everything is pretty blan. There’s Soul food night, Asian food night, Mexican food night and the occasional Hawaii Luau which keeps things interesting. Don’t be expecting a five star meal, but there’s a good chance you’ll find something you’ll be happy with.
How’s the social life like here you ask? Well, basically there is no social life inside of ISR. Considering it’s mostly engineers, your chances of striking up a conversation with someone is pretty limited in the first place, but it’s also not a particularly friendly building. People usually stay in their little cliques (generally foreign kids or lan parties…) but every once in awhile you meet some decent people.
It looks like campus police have a new ride.... I wonder if it can fit through Dunkin' Doughnut's doorway. Good for them though, maybe they can cover more ground during the night and catch some of these thugs trying to prove themselves by pointing a gun at college students to rob the $10 from their wallets.
Check out what the Daily Illini has to say about them: http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2011/08/4e5334cba9493
Check out this website: http://illinois.edu/about/overview/cool/dress_alma_mater.html
Kind of a stupid website, but might come in handy for class or if you are EXTREMELY bored.