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Durango Days

Photo by Danielle Meadows

Danielle Meadows

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s annual Durango Days kicks off the school year with a packed schedule of social events, entertainment and something all students love – free food.

For new students, Durango Days is a great way to get acquainted with all things UNO, whether it’s the campus or the community. With many students making the transition from high school to college, Maverick Village resident assistant Emily Snyder stresses the importance of new students getting involved on campus right from the start.

“Participating in these events is important because you get to meet new people,” said Snyder. “UNO has a really strong sense of community once you start getting involved.”

The student involvement director, Bill Pickett, helps to organize the events being held this week. He believes the purpose of Durango Days is to get students acclimated to campus and allow new students to feel comfortable during a time that can be just as intimidating as it is exciting.

“I think Durango Days is most important for first year students, teaching them about UNO and being a part of the Maverick family,” Pickett said. “For the upper-class students, it’s a nice treat for them to return and get a bunch of free stuff and food.”

Speaking of food – events on Tuesday, Aug. 22 kick off with Walking Taco Tuesday. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring a MavCard to enjoy a free walking taco lunch in the Pep Bowl. Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options will be available and student involvement will be giving away prizes.

Other Tuesday events include:
• Fitness 101 in the H&K building: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Free popsicle by the Criss Library: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Slow Roll Bike Ride, which starts at 4 p.m. on the south side of the student center plaza.
• The first 600 students to show their MavCards will receive a free pizza buffet dinner at Aksarben Village’s Godfathers: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• After dinner, the first 600 students to arrive between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to Aksarben Cinema will receive a free movie ticket.

• Free chicken nuggets and chips will be available for lunch in the
Pep Bowl and over 200 student organizations will have booths set up: 11 a.m.
• A part-time job and volunteer fair will be held in the Community Engagement Center: 1 p.m.

• Two options for a free dinner are available Wednesday: one at the Newman Center for a BBQ and the other at PotBelly. Both locations will have live music.

• Get to Know the O! at the H&K gym: 11 a.m.
• Transportation showcase: H&K building plaza: 11 a.m. Trek Bicycle Omaha will be on hand to provide free safety inspections on bicycles brought to the event.
• The LGBTQIA+ Social in the MBSC Ballroom: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• #GLOatUNO: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Pep Bowl.
• Later that night, Target will be opening its doors after closing hours just for students: 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

• Join Fraternity and Sorority Life members at 5 p.m. in the Pep Bowl to learn more about Greek Life at UNO.
• Come to Caniglia Field at 6 p.m. to watch UNO’s Men’s Soccer team take on Grand Canyon University. UNO’s Women’s Soccer team takes on Northern Iowa starting at 8 p.m.
• Mavs After Dark: 9 p.m. to midnight in the H&K Building.
Mavs after Dark is UNO senior Adriana David’s favorite Durango Days event.

“I love meeting new people and doing unique things,” David said. “I meet a lot of people there that I
wouldn’t otherwise meet so I’m really excited.”

• Fraternity Omega Psi Phi hosts a blood drive and video game tournament from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the MBSC ballroom.

• Mav Motor Show: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Baxter Arena
• Stand Up Paddle-boarding from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Cunningham Lake. All equipment and instruction is included for $30. To sign up, visit shopwellness.omaha.edu.

Durango Days provides a wonderful welcome – or welcome back – to UNO. For more information, visit UNO’s website.


Photo contribution by The Gateway


Gabriel Guardado

Resident assistants at the University of Nebraska at Omaha help students transition from living at home to living with three roommates on campus.

“An RAs job is to let students know what kind of opportunities there are on campus to help them create a home away from home environment,” said sophomore Scott Campus RA Cami Larson.

Trying to maintain good health, a social life and a high GPA can be very overwhelming, but RAs help create a positive environment for both learning and living.

Igor Volk, an international student at UNO, said he believes that coming in with an open mind can make a difference.

“Everyone comes from different states, different cities, different environmental and cultural backgrounds, so you need to keep in mind that not everyone is the same way as you are,” Volk said. “I believe the key component is staying as open-minded as possible when trying to put yourself into new environments.”

Durango Days gives residents the opportunity to get involved and meet new people. Durango Days, UNO’s official welcome week, kicks off during the move in days of both Scott and Dodge
campuses and leads into the first week of the school year.

“The best way to meet new people and getting involved the first few weeks of college would be going to the Durango Days events,” Volk said. “They have a lot of activities throughout the Scott and main campuses, so grab your roommates and go.”

Larson recommended going to the housing events put on by the RAs each month.

“On Scott Campus, we hold three events for our residents each month,” Larson said. “One is planned by your building’s RA and the other two are cluster events where all buildings join for an event. I would recommend going to the floor events or the cluster events put on by the RAs.”

During the first few days of moving in, the UNO residence halls in both Scott and Dodge will be hectic as students move into their new homes.

“Make sure to bring the essential items like clothing and bathroom items,” Larson said. “I would also recommend bringing a couple things from home that are personal that you can connect to home. That way it’s not a complete shock to be in a new place.”

Getting everything ready can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be, Larson explained. A great way to create a list of dorm essentials is looking through online sources on college shopping.

“Shop for essentials slowly,” Volk said. “Don’t try to rush it immediately. Create a list of the most essential things you need that you need for the first few weeks. Also, it’d be a good idea to buy some foods and snacks for a few days so you can get comfortable.”

The move-in days are Aug. 13-19, depending on the residence hall. RAs at Scott and Dodge campuses are ready to help students adjust to college life.

“This is a really fun new experience that not a lot of people get to have. I expect a lot of late nights and planning,” Larson said. “The RAs will try to make it as smooth of a transition as possible. Expect move-in day to be really busy, but with excitement in the air.”

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Cassie Wade

Students at University of Nebraska at Omaha had the chance to start their school year off with free food, Mav gear and a wide variety of activities by participating in Durango Days.

Durango Days takes place every year as part of UNO’s official welcome week, according to UNO’s website.

The event took place over the course of nine days and provided students with the chance to get involved both on and off campus with the First National Bank Student Involvement Fair and the Part-time Job and Volunteer Fair hosted by the Academic and Career Development Center and the Office of Civic and Social Responsibility.

For sophomore social work major Mirae Deimel, Durango Days has proved to be the perfect place to search for employment opportunities.

Deimel has an interview with Westside Early Childhood Centers scheduled for next week after meeting with employers at the Job and Volunteer Fair.

Other students, including sophomore biology major Tanner Pollock, cite the activities available through Durango Days as their favorite part of the week.

“HPER After Dark was my favorite event because I got to meet a lot of people and wear a sumo suit,” Pollock said.

HPER After Dark featured a wide variety of activities, including rock climbing, volleyball, Zumba and dodgeball.

Sophomore Skyler Limbach, who has a true college student mentality, said the free food available in the Pep Bowl throughout Durango Days was her favorite part of the week.

“My favorite day was free walking-taco day because I love walking tacos and free food, and it
meant I didn’t have to pack a lunch for the day,” Limbach said.

Limbach cites the daily activities available alongside the free food as an added bonus.

“It made it more of a fun event rather than just walking through and grabbing free stuff off each table.,” Limbach said. “My favorite part was the wax hands. I made the sign language I love you sign because it has some sentimental meaning to me.”

Overall, Durango Days seems to have been a successful, fun start to the first week of school for many students, including junior history major Danyele Ysac.

“I think it’s important for UNO to have events like Durango Days because it gives us students a chance to meet new people, have fun and get involved on campus,” Ysac said.

A second week of Durango Day activities will take place during the first week of the spring semester.

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Will Patterson

Every year UNO students are given opportunities to attend a variety of fun and exciting events. Many of these opportunities are brought to us by none other than Maverick Productions, known to most as MavPro.

Maverick Productions is the student organization that serves as the official student programming board at UNO. Composed of typically 20 or so undergraduate students the organization strives to bring exciting and new experiences to the students of UNO.

The mission statement, as the MavPro webpages states, is to bring the best events to campus. In doing so we build Mav Spirit and bring together the Maverick community.

For new students, these events can be an opportunity to meet new friends and make a connection with community of the University.

Maverick Productions is going to begin their events as early as Durango Days. During UNO’s official welcome week MavPro will host HPER After Dark, a much anticipated Durango Days tradition.

HPER After Dark takes place on Aug. 26 from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Taking part only requires your MavCard to get access to free pizza and night of fun activities in the HPER building.

Following in the wake of Durango Days is yet another MavPro event that has become a tradition amongst the UNO community: Mavs on the Green on September 8th. This event will consist of watching a movie in the pep bowl, the field in the middle of campus, next to the soccer field.

“We can’t reveal what movie it is yet but it will be a summer blockbuster!” said Holly Schurman, the executive director of Maverick Productions.

Shuttles will run late during the Mavs on the Green event in order to accommodate students living or parking on Scott Campus during the event.

With the arrival of homecoming in late Oct. MavPro plans to host a Baxter Arena block party on Oct 30. Last year’s first Baxter Arena block party included food, music and bouncy house courses.

In addition to organizing the block party for homecoming, the organization will also be bringing in K-Von the comedian to perform for homecoming week on Nov. 1.

In the past, Maverick Productions has brought some impressive events to UNO and the Omaha community. Earlier this year, in April, Flo Rida was brought to the Baxter Arena at UNO thanks to the efforts and planning by MavPro.

“Bringing Flo Rida was a pretty big deal,” said Holly Schurman, “While doing something so big may be more difficult and atypical it’s definitely worth noting.”

Flo Rida’s appearance was widely anticipated and well received by not only students at UNO, but by the Omaha community as well for whom tickets were also available.

For those interested in contributing to Maverick Productions Schurman discussed the positions still available on the board.

“There are still around 13 position available,” Schurman said while indicating that that applications are available on UNO’s student organization website, orgsync.com.

More information on Maverick Production’s upcoming events can be found on their OrgSync webpage or their twitter account.

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Photo Courtesy of unomaha.edu
Photo Courtesy of unomaha.edu

Will Patterson

The first days of college can be terrifying. For many this serves as the first time that they are moved out their house, they don’t know anyone around them, and they don’t know how to go about the regular swing of things.

Luckily UNO has Durango Days, a perfect icebreaker for the beginning of a new year.

Durango Days is an annual event at UNO to kick off the new year and bring the students closer together. For nine days UNO and even some local venues will host a variety of events to get students out and having fun.

This year’s Durango Days is kicked off on Aug. 20 with the Maha Music Festival in Aksarben stretching a whole 12 hours and events on campus giving out free food and Maverick gear.

The following day UNO will host its New Student Convocation at the Baxter Arena, an event highly encouraged for new students to attend. A reception catered by Olive Garden with cupcakes from Jones Bros. will take place right after the convocation.

Parents and families of the new students are also encouraged to attend the convocation as well as the catered reception afterwards.

Shuttles to and from the Baxter Arena will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pick up locations for the shuttles will be located at Maverick Village, the Arts and Sciences Hall and Scott Village.

Throughout the following week events will take place all across campus with numerous opportunities to score free UNO merchandise and meet some new people on campus.

“If nothing else get some free food!” Said Trevor Harlow, a sophomore UNO student ambassador.

Many other UNO students echo Harlow’s statement as the campus is brimming with free food for the taking throughout the entirety of Durango Days. Nearly every day of the week free food for all UNO students will be available at the Pep Bowl, the grassy, bowl shaped field next to the soccer field in the middle of campus.

In addition to a wide range of new events taking place throughout the week there are several returning events from years past that have been extremely popular with the UNO students. One of these such events is HPER After Dark.

HPER After Dark is night of fun and games at the HPER building from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. With only a MavCard required to get in students get access to free pizza and a massive selection of friendly competition and activities.

“HPER After Dark is always a big one that people love,” said Holly Schurman, the executive director
of Maverick Productions, the group responsible for hosting HPER After Dark and other events throughout the year.

Schurman went on to explain that HPER After Dark is typically a favorite event of students during Durango Days. She emphasized how it was one of the first big events of the school year that students could really look forward too.

All these events are only scratching the surface of the wide variety of activities taking place on UNO’s campus during Durango Days. A full schedule and additional information is available at UNO’s website.

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Megan Wade

Students face many stressful situations during the first week of college, like moving away from home and finding the right classroom on the first day. Often times, students’ stress is amplified by feelings of isolation because they don’t know anyone on campus yet, but that can easily be changed by becoming involved on campus.

According to sophomore Bryce Uhing, one of the best ways for students to meet new people and explore their interests is by attending Durango Days, which is a week long series of fun events and free food during the first week of school.

Uhing credits Durango Days for helping him become involved with the Maverick Maniacs, which is a student organization devoted to increasing school spirit.

“I learned about the Maverick Maniacs at the involvement fair during Durango Days,” Uhing said. “They [Maverick Maniacs] try to increase the Mav. spirit on campus by going to athletic and social events… and are always the ones that will get you excited about Mav. athletics.”

The First National Bank Student Involvement Fair will be held Aug. 24 from 11-1 p.m. in the Pep Bowl. Over 200 organizations will be available for students to check out while enjoying a free lunch of chicken nuggets and tater tots.

For other students, like sophomore Dacota Schwarte, finding a class that sparks an interest can be the key to becoming involved.

“I got involved with theater in high school, but here at UNO I took the-ater lab and got started on many projects with the department,” Schwarte said.

Schwarte now enjoys working in the stage management section of the theater department and likes “helping in any area” she can.

For students like architectural engineering major Jacob Marsh, playing intramural sports has proven to be a great way to stay in shape while getting involved.

“Playing intramural soccer gave me a chance to not just make new friends but also keep in shape,”
Marsh said. “It required a lot of running; I enjoyed the opportunity to play a sport I love and keep active.”

Another popular way for students to become involved on campus and meet new people is by participating in Greek life.

According to Sapphire Anderson, who is the president of UNO’s Panhellenic Council, joining a sorority not only provides women with the opportunity to make new friends, but teaches them life skills as well.

“Sororities equip young student leaders with the tools to succeed during their college years and following their time at UNO,” Anderson said. “Sorority has challenged me in the best possible way to become the best version of myself and to live by the values that matter to me.”

Anderson also stresses the importance of trying out all organizations a student might be vaguely interested in.

“Don’t ever limit yourself by thinking ‘maybe that organization isn’t for me’ until you give it a try,” Anderson said. “In the case of sorority recruitment and student involvement, you won’t know unless you try, and you don’t have anything to lose.”

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Durango Days

By Brooke Criswell
Online Content Manager

Registered for college courses. Check.

Purchased parking pass. Check.

Marked my calendar for Durango Days. Wait. What’s that?

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s fall semester is just weeks away. But that hasn’t stopped the university’s student organizations from promoting its annual Durango Days, a series of events to kick off the school year.

While visiting campus recently, these amazing Durango Days posters were everywhere.

durango-days-2015 (Click here to download the Durango Days poster.)

Here’s the full schedule for Durango Days… Enjoy!


6:30 p.m., Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

The summer might be coming to a close but the party continues at Midtown Crossing with the return of our End of Summer Concert Series featuring some of the areas hottest talent. Performing on Aug. 20 is the Judah & The Lion band.

Pre-concert entertainment by musicians and performers from the University of Nebraska at Omaha at 6:30 p.m. at Turner Park, near 33rd and Farnam Streets.

Food and beverages will be available for sale. All concerts are free and open to the public. Free 3 hour parking is available. Tents, tarps, stakes, open flames and hard liquor are not allowed. You may bring your own food and beverages.


2 p.m., 128 HPER (Gym)
A new student convocation ceremony will be held 2 p.m. on Aug. 23 in Room 128 or the gym inside the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building.

Following the convocation ceremony an all-campus barbecue will be held in the Pep Bowl under the big tent. In the case of bad weather, the rain location will be inside of the Sapp Fieldhouse.

Visit the Maverick Monument for a fun photo opportunity and receive a free UNO spirit gift. Rub his nose for good luck!


11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Pep Bowl
Omaha Flipbooks, which creates miniature photo flip books, will visit the campus.

5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Maverick Village Clubhouse
University Housing invites all UNO students to the annual Durango Days Block Party at Maverick Village. Enjoy free food, live music, games and other activities including a photo booth.


11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Pep Bowl

5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Godfather’s at Aksarben Village
Godfather’s Pizza will give the first 600 students who show their MavCARD a free buffet dinner. After the first 600 students the buffet is $5.

6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Aksarben Cinema
The first 600 students to show their MavCARD get a free movie ticket. After the first 600 students tickets are $5.


11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Pep Bowl
Come out and have a corndog on First National Bank. The local bank is sponsor of the student involvement fair and mixer.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Room 130 CEC

4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Maverick Village and Scott Village
Take a free shuttle to local Walmart and Target stores to stock up on your school supplies and necessities at either a Maverick Village or Scott Village pick up.

7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Scott Conference Center
Watch odd and hilarious footage from videos that were found at thrift stores, garage sales, warehouses, estate sales, and dumpsters throughout the United States at the Found Footage Festival, click here for more details.


11 a.m.to 2 p.m., HPER Gym
Interact with Omaha businesses, non-profits, restaurants, and community partners. Features great giveaways, food, job opportunities and other information. The event is hosted by the Academic and Career Development Center and the Wellness Center.

6:30 p.m., Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

The summer might be coming to a close but the party continues at Midtown Crossing with the return of our End of Summer Concert Series featuring some of the areas hottest talent. Performing this week is The Ben Miller Band.

Pre-concert entertainment by musicians and performers from the University of Nebraska at Omaha at 6:30 p.m. at Turner Park, near 33rd and Farnam Streets.

Food and beverages will be available for sale. All concerts are free and open to the public. Free 3 hour parking is available. Tents, tarps, stakes, open flames and hard liquor are not allowed. You may bring your own food and beverages.

5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.., 230 CEC
The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, LGBTQIA+ Task Force, and Gender and Sexual Orientation student agency encourages all to join in the merriment at this social.

9 p.m. to midnight, Scott Café
Ready to let off some steam? Join in the free Rave Dance party which features snacks, a fog machine and glow sticks. A shuttle will be available to transport students from the Dodge Campus to and from the party.


4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Pepbowl

5 p.m., Caniglia Field
Watch the UNO women’s soccer team play Northern Iowa.

7:30 p.m., Caniglia Field
Watch the UNO Men’s soccer team take on the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

9 p.m. to midnight, HPER Building
Enjoy free pizza, rock climbing, volleyball, basketball, racquetball, massages, dancing, Zumba, dodgeball, swimming and more. A Pacific Campus shuttle will be available to bring student to and from the HPER building. Be sure to bring your MavCARD for entry.


6:30 p.m., Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

The summer might be coming to a close but the party continues at Midtown Crossing with the return of our End of Summer Concert Series featuring some of the areas hottest talent. Logan Mize will perform on Sept. 3.

Pre-concert entertainment by musicians and performers from the University of Nebraska at Omaha at 6:30 p.m. at Turner Park, near 33rd and Farnam Streets.

Food and beverages will be available for sale. All concerts are free and open to the public. Free 3 hour parking is available. Tents, tarps, stakes, open flames and hard liquor are not allowed. You may bring your own food and beverages.