5 of the best meals in Athens you probably didn’t know about

 

1. Get yourself a sexy dog at O’Betty’s Red Hot!

O'Betty Red Hot!
O’Betty Red Hot!

Near the end of Court Street, this little hotdog shop is a sharp turn off the main drag and onto West State Street. It churns out some of the most delicious and diverse hotdogs in town. The inside of the shop is decorated with old school showgirls, red walls and cheetah print drapes. This is a great place to go if you want great local food late night or a quick bite midday. I usually order either the Varla which has sauerkraut, horseradish, bacon bits and 1000 Island Dressing all mounted on a bratwurst, or I get the Tempest which is a hot dog smothered in Casa Nueva’s Hot Habanero Salsa with chopped jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. And if you are from Cincinnati and feeling a little homesick, their chili cheese fries are the closest thing to homemade Skyline chili you will find in Athens. The only menu item I advise against is the fresh garlic fries. They are literally covered in raw garlic – not my thing. Other than that side warning, everything else here is great. Prices range from $4 to $10.

 

2. Start your Saturday off with a saucy brunch at Casa Nueva.

Casa Nueva
Casa Nueva

If you are sick of dining hall brunch and want to try something a little different, walk down to Casa Nueva near the intersection of Court Street and West State Street. I am a sucker for a Mexican-inspired brunch, and this place has a reputation for creating tasty dishes with local ingredients. This restaurant gets everything local and even changes part of their menu with local seasonal ingredients. No matter what time of day, I always order the Enchiladas Verde, stacked. Their isn’t actually a brunch version of this, so I just order the stacked breakfast enchiladas and add green chilies, cream cheese and salsa verde. They have a wide variety of homemade salsas and all of them are delicious. It really is a great way to start off any Saturday. Prices range from $7 to $20.

 

3. Netflix and chill with takeout from Thai Paradise.

Thai Paradise
Thai Paradise

This may sound weird, but for some reason a big bowl of pho is my version of comfort food. It has a flavorful warm broth, lots of basil, bean sprouts, jalapeños, noodles and meatballs – just a lot of amazing things. It is the perfect food for a cold, rainy night when you just want to snuggle up in your sweats and binge watch Dexter on Netflix. The only place to properly complete this Netflix and chill bonanza is Thai Paradise. Call ahead and take a quick trip down Union to this cozy spot to grab your take out. This is one meal experience that will relieve you of your FOMO anxiety. Prices range from $11 to $30.

 

4. Get away from the crowded restaurants on parents weekend at Zoe Fine Dinning.

Zoe Fine Dinning
Zoe Fine Dinning

If your parents are coming to town, this little city-slicker’s gem snuggled next to Passion Works Studios on East State Street is the perfect place to get away from the crowds. It is one of the few places that will take reservations. A lot of underclassmen don’t know about Zoe, so it is a nice meal with a short wait. The restaurant serves a wide variety of upscale cocktails, and the menu features a lot of Hungarian-inspired cuisine. Prices range from $11 to $30 a plate, depending. So, like I said, it is a good place to take your parents!

 

5. Enjoy a heaping spoonful of soul at OMG! Rotisserie.

OMG! Rotisserie
OMG! Rotisserie

It’s a small adventure down Columbus Road, but the trip is well worth it. In the center of a concrete parking lot next to the Sunset Motel is this tiny orange restaurant lined with orange and yellow flowers. If you are in need of some fresh soul food, this is the perfect place to reach a comatose bliss. The menu is filled with  sweet and savory options, but there are a few absolute must haves when you venture out here. The chicken and sausage gumbo is a cup of flavor you won’t regret trying, the sweet potatoes are lathered in warm butter and sugar and the sweet tea has unlimited refills. Grab a breast and a wing and sit under the sun as you enjoy these delicious southern flavors. Prices range from $5 to $12.

 

Feel like I’m totally full of it and have no clue what food is? We want to hear what you think of these places and what your five favorite meals are. Join our conversation about what the best places are in Athens on Slack!

What you need to know about formal sorority recruitment

Deciding whether or not to join a sorority during college is something that a lot of young women struggle with. This is a breakdown of what to expect if you sign up for formal sorority recruitment here at Ohio University. This guide will take you through some common questions and concerns that freshman women have about the process. You will hear from sorority women from all different backgrounds and affiliations.

 

As of Fall 2015, Ohio University has ten social sororities on campus.
As of Fall 2015, Ohio University has ten social sororities on campus.

You can find a link to all ten sororities’ websites here!

A few things you should know before we get started, is that you will have a Rho Gamma throughout all of the recruitment process to help you.

A Rho Gamma is a carefully selected counselor for women participating in recruitment. They are an unbiased volunteer guide that takes incoming participants step-by-step through the process. They are there to answer any questions you may have and support you during this very exciting time. They work closely with the Women’s Panhellenic Association which governs sororities on campus.

Now let’s hear first hand from a young woman who has a hand in planning recruitment.

It’s important to note that formal recruitment may not be for everyone, and that’s okay! If after going through a few rounds you decide it’s not your thing, it is perfectly fine to withdrawal from the recruitment process. Hopefully you met a few new people along the way.

Let’s go over some FAQ’s that freshmen women ask about recruitment.

It’s natural to have worries and doubts about this new experience. Don’t be afraid to ask your Rho Gamma anything! It’s her job to make sure you have a fun and comfortable recruitment experience.

Now let’s hear about the benefits a few sorority women have gained from their organizations.

Each woman has a unique experience within her organization. No two chapters are alike, and that’s what makes Greek Life so amazing. As long as you follow your heart, you will end up exactly where you’re supposed to be. You don’t need to be intimidated, because these women want to get to know the real you and make connections with potential future sisters.

For more information, or to register for formal sorority recruitment, visit Ohio University’s Greek Life page.

Also, follow their Twitter handle for updates on what’s happening in the Greek community.

Good luck with your decision, and we hope to see you in the fall!

A New Way of Life for International Graduate Students

Living in a foreign country can be difficult in itself. Studying in graduate school at the same time brings about a whole other challenge. Knowing what to expect can help students be prepared for life as a graduate student in a foreign country. The following includes a range of experiences and tips from current international graduate students who have been at Ohio University for at least two semesters.

After one is finished celebrating for getting accepted to graduate school (and receiving a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019) at a foreign institution, the first step is to apply for a visa at one’s United States Embassy or Consulate. When one goes to the visa interview, it is important to bring proof of funding (for example, a scholarship award letter from OHIO, a bank letter showing personal funds or a bank letter from one’s sponsor), one’s SEVIS receipt and one’s Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.

“The visa process can be annoying, but after that it’s a lot less complicated once you get to the U.S.,” communications and development master’s student, Triwik Kurniasari, said.

The International Student Union (ISU) oversees more than 30 organizations on campus
There are 117 countries represented by OHIO students and staff.

Kurniasari, who is the programming director for the International Student Union (ISU) and a student advisor for International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS), said students should make sure in advance that they have a ride to Athens from Columbus’ airport.

“I first arrived on a Sunday when there wasn’t a bus running for some reason. I just landed from a long 24-hour flight and I was struggling to find a means of transportation to get to Athens,” she said.

Otherwise, she said there are a few options, including GoBus and the airport shuttle that OHIO provides at the beginning and end of each semester.

When one finally arrives, Kurniasari said one should check in at the Office of ISFS, where they take care of copying international documents (passport, visa, etc.) and provide information on how to apply for a Social Security number or an on-campus job.

Of course, incoming international students must attend orientation, which usually lasts at least a week.

Journalism master’s student, Jing Fu, said orientation is a fun time where one can schedule classes, as well as meet classmates and other newcomers.

“You get introduced to a number of campus organizations, they show you how to get around town and teach you about academic culture in the United States,” Fu said. “They also offer social activities at orientation, such as a welcome picnic, ice cream social and a movie night.”

Journalism master’s student, Sisi Zhao, said one initial annoyance can be taking the Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE) courses.

“Ohio University forces international graduate students who score under 100 on the TOEFL to take OPIE classes until they are proficient enough in English,” Zhao said via e-mail. “More so for undergrads (who need at least a 74), it can be a long way to go before they can start taking regular courses.”

Kurniasari said ISFS can help with on-campus or off-campus housing arrangements before or during orientation, but she recommends contacting them before one’s arrival on campus.

“I looked at University Commons, Summit at Coates Run’s, and River Park since those were a few places that already came furnished, which made sense since I couldn’t lug furniture on the plane,” she said.

International Student Union programming directors, Triwik Kurniasari and Alena Kilmas, working in their office
International Student Union programming directors, Alena Kilmas (left) and Triwik Kurniasari (right), working in their office.

Living off-campus, Fu said it can be hard without a car in Athens.

“The public transportation is lacking in the United States. Buses aren’t running at all hours or on Sunday’s, but I usually manage to get around,” Fu said.

Fu said she often carpools with a classmate for groceries and evening events.

Political science master’s student, Essam Mikhail, recommends driver’s ed (driving school) for international students who do not have much driving experience.

Previously living in a city of 12 million people, Kurniasari was surprised by the small-town size of Athens. Nonetheless, she said there are many events and organizations where students can get involved.

“I found out from ISFS, resource fair, friends and announcement boards that there are many events, organizations and volunteering opportunities on campus,” Kurniasari said. “Since I like meeting people and wanted to know about other cultures, I went to many events and joined multiple organizations.”

She said ISU oversees more than 30 organizations and holds many events, such as international dinners, a fashion show, soccer tournaments and the International Street Fair.

Mechanical engineering master’s student, Prashant Kumar, said being involved in clubs like ISU and the India Student Association makes him feel more at home.

Kumar said the hardest part about living in a foreign country is being away from family and friends.

“When I miss my family and friends, I usually chat with them through Skype and social media,” he said.

Kumar said he heard about OHIO through word-of-mouth, including some of those friends and family, as well as international recruiting efforts by the University.

Of course, Kurniasari said it took her time to adjust to culture differences.

“In Indonesia, the professor will talk and talk, while the students only sit and listen. There is a saying that the teacher is always right,” Kurniasari said. “In the U.S., students are encouraged to be active and share their thoughts, and it is okay to have different opinions from your professors.”

Kurniasari said the dress code is different as well, such that students can wear t-shirts, shorts, miniskirts and flip-flops here.

“It can be challenging to adjust to a new lifestyle, but the education and people at OHIO are worth it,” she said.

Athens’ little secrets

Here is something that may surprise you: Athens has a lot to do! But not every student makes the effort to check out some unique spots in-and-around Athens. So we decided to take you to a few places beyond Court Street that students may not think about when they explore Athens.

 

Athens Farmers Market

Make sure to check out this market on Saturdays from 9am-12pm on Saturdays, 9am-12pm Wednesdays (April-December) and 4pm-7pm Thursdays (May-September). Athens favorites such as Jackie O’s and Casa Nueva have booths where they sell some of their best foods (such as bread and salsa). Check it out though to see all the vendors, you can even grab a slice of pizza or a vegetable taco for lunch!

The Athens Farmers Market is located on 1000 East State Street, inside the parking lot of the Athens Mall. Here is the map if you want to find it. Starting in the fall of 2016, there will be a bus that will take you to the farmers market if you do not have a car.

Directions to the market from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to the market from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

 

Strouds Run State Park

About 15 minutes outside of Ohio University is a state park that stretches over 2,606 acres and includes hiking trails and a beach for anyone to enjoy. On a perfect day, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the weather. At Strouds, there are almost 80 campsites and 35 miles of trails that you can hike on (25 of those miles can be open to bikes).

The park is located on 11661 State Park Road in Athens, here is a map for directions.

Directions to Strouds Run from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to Strouds Run from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

Premiere Video

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 7.48.21 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzNVtHkqNKw

In an age where video stores close in favor of websites like Netflix and Amazon, Premiere Video serves as the exception that video stores cannot compete against the Internet. This store has hundreds of movie titles (both DVDs and VHS tapes) and offer great deals on a regular basis. So if you have a DVD player and/or a VCR, look no further than Premier Video for your movie needs.

Premiere Video is located on 284 East State Street.

Directions to Premiere Video from Court Street (in front of College Green)
Directions to Premiere Video from Court Street (in front of College Green) via Google Maps

 

ReUse Thrift Store

You can't miss the colorful facade of ReUse, their sign is just as quirky as the store.
You can’t miss the colorful facade of ReUse, their sign is just as quirky as the store.

ReUse is located on 100 Columbus Rd. On a nice day, enjoy a 40 minute walk from Campus taking W Carpenter St. all of the way until you hit Columbus Rd. There is also a bus that you can take for that costs a dollar per trip. Honestly, this thrift store has character. They have everything from clothes for 25 cents to cheap silverware and the occasional Hula girl. If you want to pull together a complete look for under five dollars while simultaneously getting a taste of real Athens county, ReUse is a must-go.

The Antique Mall 

I had a hard time leaving the antique mall without feeling sentimental.
There is something about antique malls that makes one feel mighty sentimental.

Make a day of thrifting on the West side of Athens. Just down the road from ReUse at 180 Columbus Rd. rests an AMAZING antique mall. The Athens Antique Mall is two floors of Appalachian gold. They have vintage clothing, mirrors, old books, records, trinkets and boxes galore. Even if you don’t have the money, making a trip to look around and see artifacts and history is well worth it. Plus you never know what you will find …

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEm5rXPEzgf/?taken-by=dap_menny

 

Hopefully none of you will say, “oh I wish I visited…” once you graduate from OU. These three places are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many places around town to visit and experience.

So what are you waiting for? Go out and explore Athens!

 

 

 

 

Planned Parenthood: how to take control of your reproductive health

Photo Credit: Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio
Photo Credit: Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio

Planned Parenthood has been in the news a lot this year so far. Last summer, controversial videos surfaced which showed, according to Vox, “Planned Parenthood [employees] discussing how the organization provides fetal organs and tissues to researches. The emergence of these videos resulted in backlash, both from the right and left side of the abortion debate, and the issue made it all the way to Congress. Since then, though the Senate voted against defunding the organization, some states have stripped Planned Parenthood of federal funding.

In February, Governor Kasich signed a bill into law that would defund Planned Parenthood and any other clinics that perform or promote abortions in the state of Ohio. Advocates for the health organization held protests and took to social media to voice their dissent. Still, many from the anti-abortion crowd supported Kasich’s decision, and those who stand against Planned Parenthood have made their voices heard as well. Some have even gone as far as to vandalize or set fire to clinics across the nation, from California to St. Louis and, recently, Columbus.

Students both for and against abortion have utilised #plannedparenthood and #istandwithpp in recent months, but how many students know what services Planned Parenthood really provides? The Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (PPGO) serves 68 of the 88 counties in the state, according to Marketing and Communications Director for PPGO Nicole Evans. The Athens location offers “a whole gambit of services,” Evans said over the phone, and the clinic is staffed with doctors and medical professionals who meet with all kinds of patients on an individual basis to talk about their own reproductive health. There is even a student organization, Generation Action, that works with the center to spread awareness on campus.EllisQuote
“We work really closely with them, we have advocates in Columbus and in Athens, and we help fundraise,” said junior and OU Generation Action president Cecilia Ellis. “They give us condoms and swag to give out to students on campus to spread awareness about safe sex, as well as all the services that Planned Parenthood provides for men, women, transgender individuals—just so people are informed.” Here are a few things you should know about the Planned Parenthood here in Athens.

 

Photo Credit: Kayla Beard

It’s not an abortion clinic

The Athens Health Center does not offer abortion procedures—though, upon request, they can refer patients to other clinics that do—but does offer a number of health services, including testing and treatment for Urinary Tract Infections. “It’s annual exams, it’s birth control … they’ve got everything,” Evans said. Cecilia Ellis agreed that STI testing and birth control are two crucial services that Planned Parenthoods nationwide offer men and women. “You can go in and talk about the different kinds of birth control; there’s the pill but there’s also all these alternate methods,” said Ellis. The OU junior said the clinic offers tons of information. “It’s also, like, a health clinic. So, you can just go in for, like, regular gynecological checkups or anything. Basically, anything you can go to the doctor for you can also go to Planned Parenthood for.” For a full list of services the Athens Health Center offers, click here.

It’s not that far away

The Athens Health Center is located at 1005 E State St, which is a two-hour walk from Chubb, but “it’s easy to get to,” according to Evans, and she’s right. The Athens Public Transit (APT) has a route that goes all the way down State Street to the Super 8 motel which, for those who don’t know, is pretty far from campus. Today, students can pay $1 to ride any APT bus and starting in July, all staff and students will be allowed to ride for free with their OU ID card.

 

Photo Credit: Dennis E. Powell for Athens News
Photo Credit: Dennis E. Powell for Athens News

All are welcome

“We service men and women. About 50% of our patients are men at the Athens Health Center,” Evans said. Although the center is not a free clinic, it is a space where students can go and find free condoms and lots of information. The clinic offers services to people of all genders and sexual orientation. “We really work with all our patients no matter where they are,” which includes people of varying economic statuses and education levels, Evans said. The clinic accepts a number of insurance providers as well, and even has a payment plan for qualified low-income individuals, so patients have access to “a myriad of services” from cancer screenings to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. According to Evans, the Athens Health Center is a place where patients receive high quality care at low affordability, as well as a safe space. “We make it convenient for students to come,” Evans said. “And bring friends, bring a partner, bring whoever.”Meader quote

It’s easy to get involved

Generation Action is the student organization on campus that advocates for planned parenthood. “[The organization] has been on campus, long before I got here,” said Ellis who got involved with the group two years ago as a freshman, “but it’s always been kind of small and under the radar. We’ve grown so much over the last year and with all the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood, it’s been something that’s on people’s minds a lot and we’ve just naturally taken advantage of that.” On the cloudy Monday evening of April 11th, members of OU Generation Action were stationed outside of Baker Center signing people up for free STI tests.

“Every year, we have this event called Get Yourself Tested [GYT],” Ellis said. This was only the second year the group has held the event, but already GYT has grown considerably. “We have a health official here actually conducting the tests and helping people through the paperwork, tons of free condoms, cookies and tons of swag.” April is National Get Yourself Tested month, and the group’s first event just last year was a slow start to a promising tradition. “Last year we tested nine people in four hours and this year we’ve tested 40,” Ellis said. “We’ve done some hard core promotion in the last month and it’s been incredible!”

 

In the middle of her interview, Ellis turned her attention to a smiling woman in dark blue scrubs.
“We are out of tests!” the healthcare official from Planned Parenthood said.

“OH MY GOD! CAN I HUG YOU??” Ellis squealed, jumping out of her folding chair to double-high-five the nurse. It was 5:47pm, just three minutes before the end of their event.

“You all are amazing,” the nurse said. “Last year we did ten [tests], and then this year—”
She was cut off by unintelligible squeals, but they’d tested 45 people, more than four times the amount of last year’s event. The students really were passionate about their cause. “A big tip I would offer to freshmen is to get tested at least every six months, and not to be afraid of the results,” said Junior and group member Kayla Meader. “It’s always safer to know [you’re healthy] then to go on living without the knowledge.”

The group members stood in a circle, put their hands in, cheered “Generation action!” as they rose their arms, then settled into an energetic group hug.

“There’s a lot of support on campus for us,” Ellis said when she returned to her seat. “It’s really inspiring and heart-warming to see how much support there really is. [Sexual and reproductive health] is definitely something people are paying attention to right now which is great for the club because people are showing up to events like this.”EvansQUote

What Ohio University dorm do you belong in based on your favorite Netflix show

 

Ohio University’s campus is pretty big and it’s understandable that  you might need a little help on deciding on where to live. Sometimes that help comes in the form of Netflix TV shows.

 

An inside look at OHIO University’s fraternities

Greek life is often associated with multiple different stereotypes, but that shouldn’t stop students from rushing a fraternity or sorority. To clear up the labels and confusion, I chatted with five fraternity members here at Ohio University about what it’s really like to rush and what guys can expect from being in Greek life.

First, let’s meet the brothers:

Also worth knowing: why did they truly want to pledge a fraternity?

One of the common stereotypes associated with fraternities is that frat guys aren’t very intelligent.
How difficult are their majors, and how much are they actually hitting the books?

Paying fraternity dues= paying for friends… right? Let’s see what the guys had to say about that one.

People also often say that the only things fraternities care about is drinking and partying. Is that really so?

Last but not least, they shared some insight and advice for guys who may want to rush a fraternity.

Sexual assault at Ohio University: Where to seek help and how to help others

Going to college is a pivotal moment in most young people’s lives, and coming to Ohio University to join the “Bobcat family” is often a good experience.

But OU, like every other university in the country, is not devoid of instances of sexual assault.

While it’s important to get acclimated to campus and figure out how to get to classes, knowing options for sexual assault outreach is equally as vital to a safe college experience.

So, if you’re new to campus, here’s some important information related to sexual assault that you should know:

Where to seek help

Counseling Services at OU
A map showing the locations of the Survivor Advocacy Program and OU’s Counseling and Psychological Services.

There are several places at OU to speak to someone confidentially, get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and receive other forms of support in the event of a sexual assault.

OU's Counseling and Psychological Services is located in Hudson Hall on North Green.
OU’s Counseling and Psychological Services is located in Hudson Hall on North Green.

For starters, any OU student is able to go to Counseling and Psychological Services, located on the third floor of Hudson Hall on North Green.

Drop-in appointments are available from 9:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. every Monday through Friday, which allows students to see a counselor the same day. Sessions with a counselor are confidential, unless information in a session includes ongoing child or elder abuse or the possibility of the patient intending to cause harm to themselves or another.

Follow-up appointments with a counselor are also available, but be aware that it often takes weeks for students to book one, especially during busier times of the semester such as during finals week.

“I went to counseling for a drop-in and they talked about how booked they were and how few staff they had and I couldn’t get in, like I got to speak to a grad student,” said Emelia Douglas, a junior studying games and animation. “I couldn’t get in with an actual professional for the rest of the year and it was like a month or two ago.”

Despite the wait times, Douglas said she feels there is adequate support provided at OU for survivors of sexual assault and that she has not personally felt unsafe on campus.

Lindley Hall
Ohio University’s Survivor Advocacy Program is located in Lindley Hall near College Green.

One such outlet for support is the Ohio University Survivor Advocacy Program, also known as OUSAP, which is located in Lindley Hall near College Green.

Prior to the 2015-16 academic year, OUSAP was the main office within the university that provided support to survivors of sexual assault at OU. Since October, however, the program has not been fully functional and was temporarily closed in November following the departure of its program coordinator.

While the university looks to refill the position for the office, students seeking confidential counseling for sexual assault have been referred to Counseling and Psychological Services, which also has licensed professionals trained to help survivors, said Laura Myers, chief of staff for the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

“We do continue to have confidential services because we’re referring people to our Counseling and Psychological Services, which has drop-in hours, it has a 24-hour crisis intervention hotline,” Myers said. “So I feel like our students are being served.”

According to an email sent to students in mid-March, the program will reopen in Fall Semester and will just be called the Survivor Advocacy Program.

Medical services, such as testing for sexually transmitted diseases, are also available in Hudson Hall through OU’s Campus Care.

The university, however, does not provide rape kits, which is a DNA collection method that is typically performed soon after a sexual assault or rape. Students in need of a rape kit can find that service at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital, located on 55 Hospital Drive right at the edge of West Green.

How to help others

One of the best ways to prevent sexual assault is to stay vigilant for both yourself and your friends. On-campus groups, such as Better Bystanders, offer tips to students about how to intervene at parties or other social situations if they feel a friend may be in an unsafe situation.

Those tips are available on the group’s website through the university and include some of the following methods:

  • If you think someone needs help when in a bar, tell a bartender or an employee what is happening.
  • If you’re not sure what to do in a situation you may think is unsafe, ask people around you for help. If one person does something, everyone else may follow.
  • If you don’t feel safe helping someone out yourself, don’t be afraid to call the police.

Douglas said she employs many similar methods in order to keep herself and her friends safe when at a party or other social situation.

“Every time I go out with people I always make sure I leave with the people I came with or know if they have a game plan for what they’re doing,” she said. “I always check in with them periodically throughout the night just to make sure they’re OK.”

How to have fun when you’re under 21

Curated by Elizabeth Backo and Kate Fickell

Although Ohio University has been dubbed a No. 1 party school, there is still much to do before turning 21. Athens is filled with a variety of music and art groups along with fitness centers and beautiful bikeways. Although fest season and HallOUween may seem like the ultimate party at OU, seeing a movie at the Athena Cinema or attending a football game at Peden stadium can be just as much of a buzz.

Here’s a guide for how to have fun when you’re under 21:

Performing Arts:

1. Instrumental music, located in Memorial Auditorium and the Glidden Hall (which is at the top and bottom of Jeff Hill)

Free music is abundant on campus. The School of Music hosts different events throughout the year including OctubaFest, an event dedicated to tuba playing, and the annual Jazz Festival. In addition, there are several organizations for music majors and non-majors to participate in, including symphonies and orchestras. Events and information can be found on the School of Music’s website

2. Athena, located near The Chop Shop and The Shack on Court Street

The Athena Cinema is placed among the oldest movie theaters in the nation. It has three screens and an art deco-style interior. The theater also offers popcorn and concessions. The films include documentary, independent, classics, foreign and local. Every year, the Athena Cinema hosts multiple events including Ohio University student screenings, environmental panels and the Athens International Film + Video Festival. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with what’s happening.

3.Improv/Comedy, located at Front Room, Donkey Coffee and Baker Theatre

Black Sheep Improv, an improvisational group on campus, takes over Front Room on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and on Thursdays in Baker Theatre at 9 p.m. The Improv troupe spends its time making jokes and trying to get the audience to crack a few smiles. Comedy groups can also be found around campus and uptown, such as the Blue Pencil Comedy stand-up group that frequently performs at Donkey Coffee and Espresso. “I think anyway of making new friends is something I would be interested in haha! I know no one.” Bethel Park High School in Pittsburgh, PA.

4. Art Barn, located down the road behind the Summit Apartments at Coates Run

The Dairy Barn Arts Center promotes artists and provides the community access to fine arts and crafts from outside the region. The program calendar that you can check out here includes international juried exhibitions, festivals, touring exhibits, programs of regional interest, live performances and activities for all ages. They have volunteer work and Kroger community awards.

5. Choirs, performing in Memorial Auditorium on College Green

The Choral Union is a large, mixed chorus of students, faculty and townspeople. The ensemble unites annually with the Ohio University Symphony to perform outstanding major choral works. Click here to check out their page and other singing and instrumental groups. “I hope to find a job and join the choir. I don’t need alcohol or partying to have fun. Yeah, those can be fun to do but also remembering things sober are much better than not remembering.” Harrison Central High School in Cadiz, OH.

Fitness:

1. Bike Path, behind South Green

When the weather is warm and sunny, the bike path located behind South Green is a go-to place for bikers, runners, skaters and walkers. The path is relatively flat with a few twists and turns. Anyone can enjoy a view of the Hocking River or witness the blooming Japanese Cherry Blossoms in the spring. It also can be used to take a trip to Wal-Mart.

2. Ping, behind Clippinger near South Green and the golf course

The Ping Center is 168,000 square feet spanning three floors with a 36 foot, double-sided climbing wall, five basketball/volleyball courts, two multipurpose gymnasiums, a four-lane indoor running track, seven racquetball courts and two fitness areas. Ping Center also provides free weights, aerobics, fitness, combative sports, dance, and meeting rooms. Follow Ping on Twitter to keep up! “I just want to take in as much as possible and find what interests me. I want to get the experience that comes with finally moving out of your parents’ house and be on your own. I love spending time in the gym.” Monroe Central High School in Woodsfield, OH.

3. Sport Fields, multiple locations described below

Peden stadium, located near the Convocation Center, has a seating capacity of 24,000 and hosts Bobcat football. Students attend football games in the fall to cheer on the Bobcats as well as collect free gear and food. The Marching 110 also plays a halftime performance that leaves the audience bouncing with excitement. The Intramural Fields are located between East Green and the Hocking River and offer individual, dual and team sports for men, women and coed teams in a variety of seasonal league and tournament formats. “I’m committed to the women’s soccer team so for fun I plan on hanging out with my future teammates.” Buckeye Valley High School in Delaware, OH.

4. Bird Arena, located near the bottom of Baker Center

Bird Arena is another outlet for people who would rather slide then run. The indoor arena provides a 190-by-85 foot surface for skaters of all ages. Bird Arena has open skate hours which can be found online and might change for the 2016-17 academic year. Skate rental fees are $3.50. Additionally, the arena offers different programs such as synchronized skating, club hockey and even beginner classes that can be taken for academic credit. You can find this icy rink at the bottom of Baker Center.

Media:

1. The Post, room 325 in Baker Center

The Post is one of several media outlets on campus. After more than 100 years of publishing, The Post is becoming a weekly tabloid with a daily digital product. The organization covers a range of topics from blog posts about pet Instagrams to political controversy on campus. The Post has several staffs that work daily to produce its product, which includes culture, sports, news, copy editing, digital, social media, design, multimedia and photography.

2. Backdrop, office located in Baker Center in room 309 or can be contacted here

Backdrop is a magazine on campus that publishes four times throughout the academic year. The magazine focuses on long-form content ranging from the history of fashion at OU to an in depth look into police officers’ K-9 sidekicks. “I also got into OSU but I chose OU over it. I am really looking forward to being involved with certain magazines on campus, especially the one dedicated to music because although I don’t play an instrument, I love all genres of music and talking about them.” Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, OH.

3. The Athens News, located between Red Brick and Cats Eye on Court Street

Known for its in-depth local news reporting, The Athens News features news, entertainment and an advertising section. With Ohio University making up an important segment of the Athens County population, The Athens News newspaper is able to effectively reach both the university and community markets, according to its website. The publication has written about everything from Number Fest to the construction of uptown bars.

OUr voice on campus: activism at OHIO

Activism and protest is language on campus.

It’s a form of expression and of passion.

It’s OUr voice.

And this is how we use it.