Lawrence Activities

Alicia Bones

Here is a less-than-comprehensive list of some of the most excellent bizarre events, Lawrence traditions and strange parties that happen throughout the year. Check them out at least once during your time at Lawrence.
Convocations — Beginning with President Beck’s Matriculation Convocation Sept. 17, Tuesday 11:10 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
Lawrence shuts down everything on campus during convocations for one reason: You are supposed to go. And why wouldn’t you? As tempting as sleeping in can be, convocations keep students current on community, political and ecological concerns, leaving the campus refueled with activism afterwards. This year the speakers include Marcia Bjornerud, Lawrence professor of geology; Adam Werbach, environmental activist; Rebecca Solnit, writer and essayist; and Bob Hartwell, senator from Vermont.
Octoberfest — Sept. 25-26
A celebration of beer, cars and food is, not surprisingly, huge here in Appleton. The 300-plus booths of ethnic and traditional foods, crafts, and local performers spill across Lawrence’s section of College Avenue, so you literally step out of your hall to go. Watching inebriated Appletonians testing handmade whirligigs makes for an interesting Saturday.
Haunted Lawrence — Oct. 25
Lawrence is an old school, so it has picked up a few ghostly legends — that Playboy legend cannot seem to die, can it? — throughout the years. See if there is any truth to the stories about a long-dead professor roaming Main Hall or the ghost of Ormsby Hall. Incidentally, her sighting was documented in an 1899 issue of The Lawrentian — students threw hatpins at her.
Film Series — Akira Kurosawa, Tuesdays at 8 p.m., Sept. 22- Oct. 20
Lawrence puts on various film festivals throughout the year, bringing a number of screenings from particular directors or regions. This year, the Student Organization for University Programming brings the work of the late Academy Award-winner Kurosawa each week for one month. Films include “Ran,” “Throne of Blood,” “Seven Samurai,” “Rashomon”, and “Yojimbo.”
24-Hour Play Festival — Once each term
Fast becoming a favorite Lawrence tradition, the 24-Hour Play Festival brings together writers, actors, directors and technical people to create a series of short plays beginning at 7 p.m. Friday to be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday. The product is always a surprisingly high-quality night of funny, absurd and moving short plays.
The Great Midwest Trivia Contest — Last weekend in January
Probably the sweatiest and most trashed the residence hall lobbies ever get, the annual trivia contest is unfailingly popular with students. Beginning at 10:10:37 p.m., students battle other on- and off-campus teams in a series of questions that cannot be answered with a simple Google search. Questions culminate in particularly hard questions called “garrudas” and “super garrudas,” as well as in “action questions,” which get you doing stupid things in the freezing air.
Senior Streak — spring
People never believe that the senior streak will happen, but, without fail, it does. When you least expect it, you will pull back your curtains and see that crush-worthy senior from your German class sans pants. The fact that he is probably graduating in a month does not really temper the excitement, or the crowds.
Nearly Naked party — to be announced by Co-op
Another hot and sweaty activity — spring tends to be like this — Co-op’s annual party encourages partygoers to make costumes from recyclable materials: People make impressive costumes from newspaper and plastic bottles. If you are not too crafty, do not worry. You do not have to wear much.