Uptown hosts “Make Your Own Sand Candy”

Ellie Lowe, Staff Writer

The University’s Uptown, located in Swartz Hall, aims to create a lively, inviting atmosphere on the weekends where students can not only attend fun events but also have a space to hang around with friends. As soon as Uptown opens its doors, students are welcome to come and go as they please; the crowds tend to be on the smaller side, which allows students to have more intimate conversations with their friends all while feeling safe. On Saturday, Sept. 26, Uptown hosted an evening event where students could make their own sand candy novelties. The event centered around a filling station where students could choose a fun-shaped tube and fill it with colorful, flavored sand candy; there were a variety of flavors ranging from classics like sweet strawberry and sour green apple, to more unique flavors like fruit punch.

Due to COVID-19, many on-campus events have been canceled or postponed, leaving many students without entertainment on the weekends. Uptown is hoping to change that, focusing on hosting more events every weekend, diversifying their activities and increasing their promotion efforts with signs propped up around campus and weekly upcoming events emails. 

To comply with COVID-19 guidelines, all events held by Uptown have been outside. All of the tables at the events had hand sanitizer on them for student use and students were encouraged to social distance.

“Uptown is always open. We’re always going to be here,” club manager Julian Ricketson ’21 said.

In previous weeks, they’ve held a Trivia Night hosted by the Alpha Delta Lambda Honor Society, S’mores and More, DIY Spin Art Frisbees, Fall Festival and many more events. Uptown also hosts a Yard Games event on most Saturday nights where students can gather, listen to music, enjoy some snacks and play yard games such as cornhole or Spikeball.

The idea for the “Sand Candy” event was inspired by Uptown’s popular “Just Desserts” event, which was most recently held the previous night on Sept. 25. Uptown wanted to keep up with the theme of sweets and provide yet another activity for their crowd. In addition to the main sand candy station, there were also free Chipotle burritos and chips for the first 30 people who attended, as well as chips and candy bars for all.

Although the event formally began at 7 p.m., students started trickling in early to hang out with friends, study, mingle and play games. Later on, students could be seen enjoying their free food while making and enjoying their tubes of sand candy. Saturday’s event created an environment for students to engage in any level of activity or socialization that they felt comfortable with.

“This event helped me find and get to know other classmates I’ve not been able to speak to in my remote classes,” Spencer Stockhammer ’24 said.

Uptown’s next upcoming event is another installment of the Keeping It Reel: Movie Nights. This week they will be playing “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at both Uptown and the MacDonald Commons; there will be Domino’s chocolate lava cakes for the first 25 people at each location.

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