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UC Merced Offers Something for Everyone

March 14, 2008

All work and no play makes for a very dull existence. But life at UC Merced is hardly dull – especially if you know where to look for fun.

For instance, the academic quad has been busy today with students, faculty and staff taking advantage of the Math Society’s free pie giveaway in honor of Pi Day, which is celebrated every March 14 by math enthusiasts around the world.

Last week, the Dining Commons courtyard had about 250 students rocking out to the sounds of Calsius, who performed in honor of Rock the Vote. The concert, sponsored by the Office of Student Life, included a barbecue dinner and lots of giveaways.

The Office of Student Life is busy right now, making plans for the annual Fairy Shrimp Festival, which will be April 19. The campus fair, which honors Earth Day, is an all-day affair that attracts people from all over to campus for fun, food and entertainment.

Off campus, UC Merced is making an impact in the local arts community.

Psychology major H.D. Southerland and staffer Regan Pope, who works in the Office of Admissions, have roles in the Playhouse Merced production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Southerland portrays “Stanley,” and Pope plays his wife, “Stella,” in the Tennessee Williams play. Both Southerland and Pope are veterans of Playhouse Merced, though this is the first time they’ve been cast together.

Both of us have great roles,” Pope said. “But it’s hard for some people to separate us from our characters. My colleagues, friends and family have a tough time watching me portray an abused wife.”

This is the final weekend for “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Shows will be tonight, Saturday night, and a Sunday matinee. The theater is at

452 W. Main St.
, in Merced. For ticket information, call the box office at (209) 725-8587.

A partnership with the GalloCenter for the Arts will allow the university to offer students the opportunity to expand their cultural horizons without breaking the bank.

The university will take a chartered bus of students and community members to see performances at the GalloCenter. “Break!,” an urban funk spectacular, will take the stage<span style=”>  of the Modesto center in April, and the national Broadway tour of “CATS” will make its stop in May. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Mason, Robbins, Gnass & Browning, UC Merced students will be able to see shows on April 26 and May 5 for $10 apiece, which includes transportation via charter bus.

As part of the partnership, “Break!” will be on campus April 23 to present a street-dancing demonstration, which should further inspire students to attend the April 26 show in Merced.

It’s an opportunity to expose students to the arts community in a way that’s both fun and convenient,” said Charles Nies, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs.

For information on other campus activities, click here.