Dana Gilkey grew up in Athens, OH. He has never left the small, yet diverse, Midwest town. He graduated from Athens High School and then went to college at Ohio University. He graduated from college and then bought a house in Athens. He is what the student population would call a “townie”.
Understandably, “Court Street” stirs up different memories than what most college students will reminisce about. He remembers getting ice cream at Cold Stone with his mom when he was little (Yes, Court Street used to have a Cold Stone). His favorite places were the ones he and his high school friends had frequented though. The places where both teenage boys and college co-eds could both enjoy (Wonder why teenage boys frequented these places so much…).
I was interested what a “townie” experience would be like, so I asked him to walk me through what a Court Street adventure in his high school days would consist of and he gave me the exclusive tour!
When thinking about my favorite place in Athens, my first thought was the best bars and special food places. As I thought about this longer, I realized the reason I love being uptown is because of the people I see when I’m there. This quickly changed my favorite place in Athens to the Gamma Phi Beta house. The best way to describe why is because it is a second home. Although I do not live in the sorority house, it is a place I can be myself with all of my friends.
Being able to have access to a house with multiple rooms is awesome. When I’m at the house I have the option to spend time in many of my friends’ rooms, be in the living room to relax or go hang out in the movie room. As I’ve learned the movie room is an excellent place to take a nap, which is a plus if I’m having a long day or there’s people in my dorm room.
My dorm room can be small and crowded at times. I have never been a homebound person, even when I lived in a spacious house with three other people. The past two years of living in a small room with three other people only makes me want to be out and about even more than before. In a way, the house is going somewhere else and an escape.
Another fun room in the house is the kitchen. At most times during the day I know I can go downstairs to the kitchen and find many of my friends hanging out or doing homework. For me, it’s really nice to have others working on projects and being productive and caring about their academics. This motivates me to be better, and it’s fun at the same time. Also, I get some free meals each week at the house. This is always a perk, especially when I’m tired of dining hall foods but too broke to buy real food!
Another reason the Gamma Phi house is my favorite place on campus is because I know I will always be laughing there. I enjoy my time alone, but I’m very much a people person. While at the house, I have the opportunity to be a part of a family and hear all about my friends’ lives. Someone always has a funny story to tell about their professors or something hilarious about one of our friends.
I enjoy being at the house because there’s also a craft room where we can go to hang out and do projects or arts and crafts. I will be honest and admit that I may be one of the least crafty people ever, but I enjoy learning how to be better and try new things. At the house, we do many bonding activities. These can include anything from game night to watching The Bachelor or even decorating cookies.
Finally, the Gamma Phi Beta house is my favorite place in Athens because I have the ability to grow as a person and bond with so many greats women that I can call some of my best friends. There’s a wide range of individuals who guide me and give me the advice I need to be the best version of myself.
At the end of the day, there’s always excitement and happiness in the house. It doesn’t matter if we’re hosting bid day or hanging out in pajamas eating Chipotle because I know that either way I will enjoy my time I spend there.
If you ever feel overwhelmed with options off the extensive menu at Bagel Street Deli, you can always create your own sandwich.
Or you could go a step further and claim a spot on the menu for your bagelwich masterpiece. All it takes is just a few pickles.
On the second Friday in March, BSD host its annual Pickle Fest, centered around a pickle eating contest.
Participants compete in heats of 10 eaters. Each heat last 10 minuets. When its all said and done, whoever eats and swallows the most pickles at the end of the competition wins the right to create and name their own BSD creation with an eternal spot on the chalkboard.
As Ohio Women’s Ensemble’s fall concert approaches Oct. 23 at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, sophomore Lindsey Bowden reminisced about her first semester at Ohio University (OU) before joining the all-female choir.
“My first semester was pretty rough,” Bowden said. “I didn’t like it here at all. I didn’t make very many friends besides just my modmates that I lived with.”
A member of the OU chapter of Delta Gamma Fraternity, Bowden believes her involvement with campus organizations is what turned her rocky first year around: especially, once she joined Ohio Women’s Ensemble (OWE).
“It gave me my first friends,” Bowden said. “Just being able to be involved with music and singing with a group again just made me a lot happier.”
Bowden had taken voice lessons since she was very young and also participated in choir during grade and high school. When she stopped singing in college, OWE gave her an opportunity to rediscover what had been missing till that point of her college experience.
“That was a lot of the reason I was so miserable: I took away a big part of my life and I didn’t even realize that I did it,” Bowden said. “When I found [Women’s Ensemble] my second semester, my whole experience changed.”
Bowden encourages women around campus who enjoy singing to join the non-audition group, which till Sept. 21, this year, to date, held a record-high 107 members, according to Speakeasy Magazine.
“Our choir sounds really good,” Bowden said. “Even if you’ve never done music before and you were just interested and wanted to do it, you can. That’s one of the reasons I like it so much.”
OWE will collaborate with Choral Union, a choir that features male students and non-OU members, during its fall concert on Oct. 23 in Memorial Auditorium.