UCSD organizations aim to bring many diversions

    Most UCSD newcomers have been warned that despite the revelries of Welcome Week, UCSD is not a party school. But while it is true that beer does not flow freely down Library Walk, nor do people go skinny dipping at the Canyon View pool, UCSD’s entertainment possibilities abound if you know where to look. Here is some insight into where to look for a good time and how to get involved in campus entertainment.

    Associated Students Programming Office

    Located on the third floor of the Price Center, the A.S. Programming Office is run by Gabe Grossman, commissioner of programming. The office from which Grossman works is small, cramped and packed with music memorabilia. It is from this tiny space that huge events, such as the upcoming FallFest, are put together. The quarterly music festivals are hot attractions for the UCSD campus, especially the spring Sun God Festival. In the past, bands such as No Doubt, 311 and The Roots have performed free of charge for hordes of students.

    Good music doesn’t only come to UCSD every three months, though. The programming office coordinates the periodic “”nooner”” shows with local acts at Price Center, as well as the frequent vendor fairs on library walk.

    The A.S. Programming Office also works with other campus student groups to produce fund- raising events. Those interested in contributing to or attending upcoming events, or organizing their own, can find out more about A.S. programming at http://www.asucsd.edu or can call the A.S. Programming office at (858) 534-5259.

    University Events Office

    For campus old-timers, the large banners strung out in the Price Center or over the entrance of the Main Gym are a common sight. For newcomers, the spray-painted photo of a string quartet on fabric is a bizarre form of advertisement. The University Events Office, which is also located on the third floor of the Price Center, brings many of these events to the UCSD campus. While the A.S. Programming Office attracts many local and mainstream acts to UCSD, UEO aims for more diverse performances. As a result, students are able to enjoy music from all over the world. In October alone, three continents will be represented on the Mandeville Auditorium stage.

    In addition to music productions, UEO hosts the annual San Diego International Film Festival, which takes place later in the school year. The month-long event brings a wide breadth of international talent to Price Center Theater for excellent prices. In past years, films such as the Spanish-language “”Like Water for Chocolate”” and “”The Cat’s Meow,”” with Kirsten Dunst, have been shown.

    Music and Movies

    Despite what UCSD tenderfeet might think, RIMAC is not only for sports. Not only have FallFest and WinterFest been held in the expansive gym, but periodic concerts also take place in the building. The concerts are announced across campus, and tickets can be bought via Ticket Master or at Price Center box office for a student discount. Just last year, Bob Dylan, Incubus and Jack Johnson all performed on RIMAC’s stage.

    Price Center box office also sells movie tickets for $2 for second-run Hollywood films. Saving $5 on the ticket price makes up for having to watch a movie a month or two after its release. Sometimes, however, free screenings take place on campus and the passes are given out on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office.

    “”I think the free screenings are great for people who live on campus,”” said student Matt Ramirez. “”Last year I saw ‘K-Pax,’ which I probably would not have enjoyed as much if I’d paid the regular $8 in the theater.””

    Those who are interested in taking advantage of the free films should look for posters around campus advertising these screenings.

    UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance

    While not a full-fledged theater company, the UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance produces more plays and dance shows than most traditional companies. This year, the department will celebrate its 30th anniversary with plays by renowned talents, including Eugene O’Neill’s “”Morning Becomes Electra,”” which will run in late November. A variety of dance shows will also be produced. Many of the stage productions will be written, directed and choreographed by UCSD students.

    Those who are interested in theater, however, should not limit themselves to a seat in the audience. Students who are enrolled in an introduction to acting class are invited to open auditions for the productions of the 2002-2003 season.

    “”There are no restrictions,”” said Walt Jones, chair of department of theatre and dance, regarding the extent of one’s involvement in the department. Jones encouraged those interested in the award-winning department to take classes and get to know the professors.

    The UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance is ranked third in the nation. This distinction echoes the talent of the faculty, many of whom are winners of the prestigious Tony Award. Students may be more familiar with the work of a department alumnus, Benicio Del Toro, who has appeared in such critically acclaimed films as “”Traffic”” and “”Snatch.””

    Nevertheless, the excellent quality of UCSD’s theater alone should be reason enough to venture over to the theater district on the south side of campus, where few students travel.

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