Referred to by MU students as “the Quad,” the grassy area surrounding the Columns has become a popular, multifunctional location on campus to read, sunbathe, play football or simply relax.
Although posted signs discourage students from cutting across Francis Quadrangle on the way to class, recreational activity is perfectly acceptable.
“My favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon is to play Frisbee on the Quad with my friends,” said recent graduate Andrea Dempsey.
Junior Gary Anspach said he enjoys going to the quadrangle to play touch football with a few friends because it’s cheap and fun.
Others, who are limited on both cash and transportation, have discovered that the quadrangle is a great place for a date.
“I like to go there at night with someone special to just sit on the Columns and talk,” said Ashley Simmons, a senior. “It’s a romantic place because Jesse (Hall) is lit up at night.”
Jamie Walsh also thinks the Quad is a good place to spend quality time with others. “I like to have picnics by the columns with my boyfriend,” she said. “We grab lunch downtown and bring it back to the Quad to sit and eat and talk.”
Since the early 1990s, MU students have been able to enjoy current films on campus for a minimal cost. These films, sponsored by the Missouri Student Association include cult classics and some not yet released on DVD. They are shown outdoors on Lowry Mall, at Brady Commons or in Jesse Wrench Auditorium.
The films, shown three nights a week, are free on Wednesdays and $1 on Fridays and Saturdays.
“So many things cost money on campus and around town, that coming to a free movie, regardless of whether you have seen it a million times before or not, seems like a good idea,” said Matt Newlin, a senior and chair of the MSA Film Committee.
Newlin said MSA strives to select films representative of a variety of student interests. Starting in the fall, he said, Wednesday night films will have a theme for each month.
Many students who discover the films their freshman year faithfully attend throughout their college careers.
“I honestly think they have a good variety of films,” said Chase Grafton, a junior. “There are a lot of films that I wouldn’t pay to see in the theaters but will gladly see for free on a Wednesday night because I still have the interest.”
Katie Harlan discovered the films because of her limited budget and lack of transportation.
“I went to see ‘The Bourne Identity’ and ‘Monster’s Ball’ at the beginning of my freshman year,” she said. “It was great because they were relatively new, only cost a dollar, and I got to hang out with my friends.”
Newlin said he hopes summer releases such as “Spider-Man 2” will be included in the fall film lineup.
Residence halls and Greek communities alike have quickly found that RecSports provides a backdrop for bonding with people who have similar interests and hobbies.
The Student Recreation Center offers a variety of sports, such as flag football, ultimate Frisbee and sand volleyball. Most are offered in team, dual and individual divisions.
“Participation in RecSports provides students with a positive out-of-class experience,” said Tim Lewis, a RecSports coordinator. “It is a great opportunity to establish relationships with people from your residence hall, classes and other students with similar interests.”
Jacqueline Janus, a junior, became a RecSports athlete her freshman year. “I played basketball, and I wasn’t very good, but I still had fun because all of my friends played, too,” she said.
RecSports is complementary to all skill levels and interests, Lewis said, adding that basketball and flag football are the most popular sports.
The RecSports program is aimed at not only promoting physical fitness, but also at encouraging positive friendship and sportsmanship for all participants and spectators.
“A majority of incoming freshmen played competitive high school athletics, but only a handful play at the (National Collegiate Athletics Association) level,” Lewis said. “RecSports provides students the opportunity to participate in structured, competitive leagues that have an NCAA or high school feel.”