UPC wants to build campus community

By By Travis Currit

By Travis Currit

The Union Programming Council released its events for Fall Semester, which include four Crimson Nights, an Oktoberfest party and an art show.

Eric Hu, This year’s UPC director, said he wants to “break the commuter campus atmosphere that is so prevailing” at the U, and he isn’t counting on habit alone to keep students coming.

“This year, we’ll be pushing the tradition even further. Our themes will be more extravagant, with bigger and better events and prizes,” Hu said.

The group’s biggest event is Crimson Nights, a party on campus that lures about 7,000 people with free food, games, prizes and music. In its fifth year, the activity is becoming a “real tradition,” Hu said.

“This is the first year where every student will have experienced Crimson Nights their entire time at the U,” Hu said.

The first Crimson Nights is scheduled for August 25 and themed “Wild Thing.” Events will include a barbecue, a mechanical bull, fire-dancers, a wild bird show and roulette tables.

“We’re working on making it a really safe and fun program for students to come to,” said Julie Tran, UPC director of Crimson Nights.

Crimson Nights will not stand alone, however. Hu said he hopes to “capitalize on the success of Crimson Nights, take the same ideas and make them work elsewhere.”

Reaching out to students with children, the group is hosting Family Day on Sept. 16. The group will also put on numerous “date nights,” events similar to Crimson Nights but designed exclusively for couples.

UPC is also hosting a Union Art Gallery and Student Film Festival, giving artists a place to display their work.

The film festival will be an all-day event airing student-produced films, with an evening exhibition of a film linked to the Sundance Film Festival.

Jon Hayes, the UPC director of art and special programs, does not want to limit participation to film students only.

“We’ll take whatever students have,” he said, stipulating that they will be screened for decency. “We hope to show as many as we can.”

To target students who cannot return in the evening or on the weekend for an event, the group is planning an Oktoberfest party for Sept. 27-a non-alcoholic, on-campus festival during the day, giving out free bratwurst and featuring lederhosen-clad Bavarian musicians.

Hu views this event as a prime example of UPC’s effort to “create a sense of campus community.”

In addition to these events, UPC has room for any students looking to get involved on one of its boards. Those interested are invited to stop by its offices in the Union, Room 228, or visit its Web site at www.upc.utah.edu.