By Kevin Wilson
In an attempt to make sure Eastern New Mexico University students don’t see the weekend as a drag, one group is offering a cure called WAG.
Weekend Activities and Games is a program in its second year at ENMU. The program, created by the college’s Office of Student Activities and Organizations, offers a pair of activities each weekend from 8 p.m. to midnight through September.
Shannon Osborne, a program director for OSAO, said that WAG was born because of a need to have a “student life culture” on campus, and it’s imperative to build that culture as quickly into each semester as possible.
“The first four weeks are the most important,” Osborne said. “This is a time for students to meet other students and to get involved on campus.”
Friday night featured an open mic night at the Ground Zero coffee shop, which is the location for many of the activities. Other activities will include video game tournaments, a casino night, and recreations of television programs like “Singled Out” and “The Gong Show.” Each weekend in September has a program on Friday and Saturday night.
“I’m trying to step up the quality of the programs,” Osborne said. “Because it’s a weekend event, it can’t be a simple program. A lot of energy and work has to go into it.”
The majority of students do not stay the entire four hours, but Osborne and WAG assistant Karissa Huskey figured that 60 to 80 people spent some amount of time at Friday’s open mic night.
Huskey said a core group evolved from last year’s WAG programs, and she hopes for the same type of result this time around.
“We had such a great year last year, it’s tough to improve,” Huskey said, “but I would say (we’d want) more students present, more off-campus students, and create more fun activities.”
Friday’s open mic night also featured a performance by the Smack You in the Mouth improvisational group. Even for a local group, Osborne said it took several weeks of contact just to set up the appearance and each program has its own challenge.
“(The itinerary for) WAG was developed over the entire summer,” Osborne said. “It wasn’t just created overnight.”
Due to the program’s success last year, Osborne said WAG would also have a spring session during the first two weeks of next semester.