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SU to introduce 3,500 new students to downtown, celebrate Warehouse with Aug. 26 events
SU to introduce 3,500 new students to downtown, celebrate Warehouse with Aug. 26 eventsAugust 24, 2005Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
This Friday, thousands of Syracuse University students and hundreds of volunteers will visit a variety of cultural, arts and historical venues in downtown Syracuse as part of Syracuse Welcome 2005: A Slice of SU Life, SU’s new-student orientation program. The evening of arts, entertainment and exploration will culminate in a ceremony celebrating the Warehouse, SU’s building at Armory Square.
The initiative, “Exploring the Soul of Downtown Syracuse,” is being launched this year in support of SU’s commitment to community engagement. It is anticipated that nearly all of the University’s approximately 3,500 new students will participate, along with 200 student leaders from Le Moyne College. The evening is open to all SU and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students with I.D.
SU will begin shuttling students downtown at 7:45 p.m., to be greeted and guided by approximately 400 volunteers including students, faculty, staff and friends of the University. Students will be guided as they walk among venues, or will be bused among venues by Centro and Birnie Bus Service. A combination of OnTrack and bus service will move all students back to campus at the end of the evening.
“We are excited about the performances, exhibits and activities that our partners have planned for this evening,” says Laura Madelone, director of Off-Campus Student Services and coordinator of the downtown events. According to Madelone, the goal of the evening is to connect and introduce new students to all that the area has to offer. Highlights include:
Dancin’ in the Square-Hanover Square, 6-11 p.m.Students are invited to the Updowntowners’ popular event, Dancin’ in the Square, featuring a free concert by local band Los Blancos in Hanover Square. Sponsored by the Updowntowners and Citadel Broadcasting.
Erie Canal Museum, 8-11 p.m.Members of the Syracuse Opera will don period costume and perform scenes from the Canal-themed opera “Never Tickle a Mule,” on the Water Street sidewalk next to the museum. The changing exhibit “Syracuse Architecture: A City Rises from the Banks of the Canal” will teach students about several extant Canal-era buildings. Sponsored by the Erie Canal Museum and the Syracuse Opera.
The Redhouse, 8 p.m.-midnightThe Joan Lukas Rothenberg Gallery at The Redhouse will feature the exhibition “Body Art.” The Redhouse will also offer students cinema showcases and a pair of performances by local band Merit. Sponsored by The Redhouse and Aux Records.
Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology, 8 p.m.-midnightStudents will participate in hands-on exhibits and demonstrations, see performances by SU a capella group Groove Stand, and be able to sign up for memberships with unlimited IMAX passes for the reduced rate of $29. Outdoors, music on the lawn will be provided by local band For The Horizon beginning at 8:30 p.m. Sponsored by MOST and Aux Records.
Everson Museum of Art, 8-11 p.m.Open Hand Theater puppets will perform on the plaza and local rock band The Pilot Lies will give an outdoor concert there. Inside, Syracuse Opera vocalist Jimi Johns will perform popular arias with accompanist Nancy Head. Syracuse Stage actors will perform short scenes from the play “Bug.” Area restaurants, including The Mission and Phoebe’s, will provide food samples, and local organizations will have information booths for students. Sponsored by the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, the Syracuse Opera, Syracuse Stage, ThinC, Open Hand Theater, Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series and the Onondaga County Public Library
Onondaga Historical Association, 8 p.m.-midnightStudents will see a variety of exhibits, including “The Franklin Auto Exhibit,” “Freedom Bound: The Story of the Underground Railroad in Central New York,” “Our Sporting Life: The Heroes. The Highlights. The History,” “Syracuse China: Fired Forms of the American Experience,” and a new exhibit on the General Association Document of May 1775, New York State’s declaration of independence. There will be living history interpreters and costumed demonstrators telling the story of early Syracuse and its historical figures. The Wright Research Center, one of the finest archival collections in the Northeast, will be open for students to view original documents, photographs and maps. Performers from the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival will host street performancesnearby and promote their performance of “As You Like It” for students, which will take place on Aug. 31. The First Year Players will perform as well. Sponsored by the Onondaga Historical Association and the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival.
Hawthorn Suites, 8 p.m.-midnightThe Event Operations Center, First Aid, Information desk and the volunteer hospitality suite will be located here, along with SU News Services staff.
Galaxy Communications, 8:45 p.m.-midnightA concert featuring four acts-national punk/pop band Never Surrender, national emo band Armor for Sleep, and local bands Brace and Simple Life-will be staged in the parking lot next to Galaxy Communications’ studios on Walton Street, with the audience watching from the grassy area across the street. Sponsored by Galaxy Communications and SU’s Office of Principal Gifts and Chancellor’s Initiatives.
The Lighting of the Warehouse, 11 p.m.A culminating event of the evening will be the “National Grid Artistic Lighting Project at the SU Warehouse,” a ceremonial lighting in honor of SU’s arrival downtown. The building-formerly the Dunk & Bright warehouse at the edge of Armory Square-was purchased by SU in April, and is undergoing extensive renovation. It will open in January 2006 for classes; community spaces are also being planned.
For the ceremony, an array of more than 300 blue and yellow lights will create an artistic interpretation of what the building’s windows will look like when it is finished and occupied, infusing the neighborhood with round-the-clock energy and progress. The event will include Chancellor Nancy Cantor onstage at Galaxy Communications, throwing the switch to illuminate SU’s impending arrival downtown in a celebration with the community and the supporters who are making the building’s transformation possible. The display is designed by New York-based artist Leni Schwendinger; it will remain lit through the weekend. Sponsored by Galaxy Communications and SU’s Office of Principal Gifts and Chancellor’s Initiatives.
“It has taken hundreds of people and organizations collaborating in new ways, across campus and across the community, to add this event to Syracuse’s exciting cultural landscape for the benefit of our students and the community,” says Madelone.
To accommodate the evening’s activities, the Syracuse Police Department (SPD) plans to restrict Walton Street traffic on the 200 block Friday afternoon and evening: only local traffic will be permitted for the 200 block east of the bridge; the section west of the bridge will be closed.
Uniformed SPD officers will be on duty in the area, with some directing traffic to accommodate heavy pedestrian traffic and students’ shuttle buses. Parking in the area will be severely limited Friday night. In cooperation with SU, SPD has briefed local bar owners about the evening’s activity. SPD will not issue any open container permits in the area Friday night. Members of SU Ambulance, the Department of Public Safety, and Parking and Transit Services will be on hand to ensure the safety and smooth flow of traffic for students and other community members.
All events are geared toward students. Outdoor events are open to the public, though no formal seating will be available. Indoor events are closed to the public because of occupancy restrictions in the host buildings. Most events will take place regardless of weather unless there is threat of lightning.