Every year Radford University welcomes a new class of students who seek a higher education. However, students also expect college to be entertaining. While Radford’s campus is conducive to studying, there are things to do for fun on and around campus that don’t include party hopping.
Curie Hall, attached to the back of Reed Hall, contains a planetarium in its bottom floor. The planetarium operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Shows are free to students and visitors, but donations are accepted through the planetarium’s information page.
Instead of the planetarium, Selu Observatory boasts a view of the real night sky through a 14.5″ RCOS telescope, as well as other powerful instruments. Selu is also free to anyone who wants to attend a two hour session occurring every clear Friday, about half an hour after sundown. The observatory is located not far from exit 109 of I-81. Although it is not walking distance from campus, it is a relatively close attraction for those who have transportation, and is often used as a location for department-related celebrations.
Every day students go to Dalton Hall to eat with friends for three meals of the day. However, one day out of the year students and teachers flock by the dozens to attend “Taste for Diversity,” a culture-filled night of exotic foods and performances. This usually includes live music and belly dancing. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, among other organizations, puts this event together every year in hopes that it will help educate the student population about other cultures. For that day, Dalton Hall serves food that they generally wouldn’t serve, allowing customers to break out of their usual eating habits. Senior King Amponsem, one of the key players in last year’s Diversity Week was thrilled with the outcome.
“I feel blessed and humbled seeing all those students come out there and seeing it put a smile on student’s faces. I was really excited about that,” Amponsem said.
Another yearly event for students is the Annual Highlanders Festival. This is open to everyone in the area, including parents, which conveniently falls on family weekend. During this festival there is a parade consisting of many bagpipe groups, the Radford University cheerleaders, RU Rockers (Radford’s dance team), fire department and many more. There are also several food and craft vendors selling a wide variety of Scottish and Irish memorabilia such as baked goods and jewelry.
The main attraction during the Highlanders Festival is the Scottish Games. A large rectangle of area is sectioned off in Moffett Quad, which is packed with vendors. In this rectangle athletes compete in what is known as the Scottish Games. These games consist of the weight for distance, the stone, the hammer, the sheaf and the caber. All of these games test the athlete’s strength and power, which always draws a large crowd from the visitors.
Most of these activities so far have been on or around campus. For students looking to get away for an afternoon, the Cascades can be a relaxing getaway. Located in nearby Giles County, The Cascades National Scenic Trail has an upper and a lower path that are both about a four mile round trip.
Junior Jennifer Adsit, a frequent visitor of the Cascades, has fond memories of the trail.
“It’s beautiful. That’s where my husband proposed to me,” Adsit said. “I also like it because it’s a medium difficulty for a hike. It’s just fun.”
These are only a handful of things to do around RU. As the year wears on more events will happen, and Radford will be alive with entertainment.