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The Scarlet & Black

Armbruster aiming to make this year’s NYAW program above average

There’s no shortage of things to do on a weekend night, but if you’re looking for a change of pace, now’s your chance.  Not Your Average Weekend (NYAW) offers a lot of fun and interesting alternatives to Harris parties and other, more traditional on-campus events—and they’re all free.

Kristen Armbruster '12 is coordinating NYAW this year. Photograph by Kathlyn Cabrera.

“Not Your Average Weekend is … designed to provide sub-free programming to students across campus,” explains Kristen Armbruster ’12, NYAW’s student coordinator. “It’s really just for anybody who just wants to have a good time doing something … different.”

NYAW may be substance-free, but it’s certainly not fun-free.  Last year’s visit to Carroll’s Pumpkin Farm drew several hundred participants, and if this year’s schedule is any indication, it’s only going to get bigger and better. NYAW’s first game of bingo had JRC 101 jam-packed and many first years took advantage of the s’mores event during NSO.

“You don’t need to have alcohol … to have fun,” said Armbruster.

Unlike many dorm parties and late-night hangouts, NYAW attracts students from all years and all walks of life. It’s a great way to break out of your circle of friends and meet new people and hear new perspectives.

True to its name, NYAW’s activities are anything but average. Typically held on Friday nights, events range from an outdoor movie to a trip to Grinnell’s bowling alley. Longer events, like the recent camping trip at Rock Creek, tend to span entire Saturdays. With financial support from Student Affairs, Wellness and SGA, all of these events are free—the only limitation is space.

“We’ll be doing bowling, which will be in a few weeks,” said Armbruster.  “But … it’s a small alley, so it can’t handle too many people.”

Although popular events from last year will still make an appearance, Armbruster is determined to introduce a fresh set of activities. Some of these newcomers include community Christmas caroling, performances by the school’s improvisational troupe and even gingerbread houses.

“One of the biggest things [this year] is that … SGA is providing us funding … which gives us the opportunity to do bigger and better things now,” Armbruster said.

Another upcoming get-together is an alternate 10/10 all-day event for students who want to avoid the progressive party’s sheer amount of drinking and carousing.

“In the previous years, it’s just been a movie in Harris and … games, and that’s not as exciting as a lot of people would want,” said Armbruster.  “We’re doing a night at the Bear this year … the rock wall will be open … we’re going to have the pool open … and a basketball pickup game.”

In the past, one of NYAW’s biggest hurdles has been getting the word out about all of its exciting activities. This is not so anymore—thanks to Armbruster, the loggias are plastered with posters advertising many of the upcoming events. Students can also e-mail [weekend] to subscribe to the mailing list. Anyone is welcome to attend any event.

Despite the huge scope of NYAW this year, it is currently being run by the efforts of Armbruster alone. She hopes to establish a committee of 10 or so students to help coordinate and plan for future events. If you’re interested in pitching in, you can either e-mail [weekend] or Armbruster directly at [armbrust1].

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