Welcome Week

Here are a few of the special events during New Student Welcome Week:

First Friday Night Film: Program Council offers a free showing of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at 9 p.m. tonight in CHEM 140.

UMC Welcome Fest: From 8 to midnight tonight, the UMC will host activities such as live music, dancing lessons, crafts, bowling and pool, and all with free food and giveaways.

New Student Welcome Concert: Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Program Council will put on a free, student-only concert on Farrand Field featuring Big Gigantic and Paper Diamond.

More info: umc.colorado.edu

The University Memorial Center is the big building in the center of campus. Chances are that you're already well acquainted with the UMC, since it's probably the first CU building you ever entered.

Still, even four years here might not be enough to discover everything in the UMC. The staples are primarily located on the first floor, with the exception of the CU Book Store in the basement. But there are four more levels to the UMC, filled with everything expected in a student union, and more.

"We have so much to offer here," said Carlos Garcia, director of the UMC. "There's always something going on here."

Walk through the northern doors near the Dalton Trumbo Fountain and the first thing you'll see is the Book Store. The Book Store is not affiliated with the University, but it's where you can buy all your Buff gear and textbooks. The Book Store extends down into the basement and sells everything from computers to potato chips.

Upstairs, on the ground level of the UMC, are the eateries. Domino's, Jamba Juice, Celestial Seasonings, Subway, Wok & Roll, the newly-remodeled Baby Doe's Coffee & Bakery and Alferd Packer Grill -- named for Colorado's notorious cannibal -- all reside here.

If you plan to eat at Baby Doe's and the Alferd Packer Grill, the tasteBUD gift card is a good way to get discounts.

In the southwestern corner of the first floor are The Connection and Club 156. The Connection has all forms of entertainment -- from Boulder's only bowling lanes to pool tables and video games. Hidden behind a nondescript door is Club 156, an intimate concert venue that hosts great shows year-round.

Program Council is responsible for booking the shows that come to campus. It's one of many student-run organizations that call the UMC home.

Sequestered at the back of the basement level is the another student-run organization -- Radio 1190, the campus music station. Listen in and you'll hear every genre under the sun.

The UMC is also the home of CU student groups and location of many of the Conference of World Affairs lectures held every April. Go exploring, and you're sure to discover places you'd never have known about.

CU senior Sean Sutherland, 21, has frequented the UMC for the past three years. As a result, he's found little-known gems throughout.

"It's really convenient between classes," he said. "I come here to print everything out, and when the library's packed during finals, I come here to study."

While the main floor can be noisy and distracting, the UMC is full of out-of-the-way study spots. Sutherland recommended the Glenn Miller Ballroom, a 1200-person event venue on the second floor, which he said is quiet when not in use.