To Keep Balance, Keep Moving!

By Sarah Bransley

Bicycling is a great way to get around campus… most of the time. There’s a big controversy surrounding HOW people should bike on campus so if you’re new here it’s especially hard to figure out what you’re supposed to do.
Some of the tips to follow about bikes are concrete and hold no argument. Don’t ride in the street going the wrong way down a one-way. You’ll get a ticket if a cop sees you. Another is that you need a front light if you’re riding a night. It’s illegal otherwise.
Others tips are more common courtesy. Many students have a huge pet peeve about students who ride their bikes on sidewalks. Though it’s not illegal, there are specific bike lanes dedicated to bike use throughout campus. Now they aren’t as well maintained as the sidewalks and don’t go everywhere, so bicyclists may use sidewalks instead. Use your head and ride safely for both you and the others around you.
One particularly nasty spot to ride your bike on the sidewalk is on the Quad between classes. Just don’t. There’s far too many people and it can get quite dangerous.
Speaking of dangerous, pedestrians aren’t completely innocent. Most students who don’t ride bikes aren’t aware of the bike lanes and don’t look for bicyclists before walking across them. So if you’re riding your bike, be aware that students can and do walk right in front of you without warning. Is it your fault? No. Could you really hurt someone? Yes.
One last thought before I end my blog. Helmets. You will be riding your bike between pedestrians mostly, but also crossing streets and riding near cars. It’s up to you whether you want to protect that thing you’re paying tens of thousands of dollars to fill with knowledge. I would protect my investment over perfect hair. Actually I’d probably just pack some hair brushes and stuff to fix it…
So there you go! Some tips and ideas to think about if you will be riding a bike or walking on campus with those bikes. Try not to hate on each other so much guys. We’re all just trying to get to class so we can graduate.

Apartment Living 101

By Lily Villa


Getting out of the house and finally becoming independent is something I feel a lot of college students look forward to. Living in an apartment is nice because you can essentially do whatever you want whenever you want. Though it’s not always as easy as we’d like, it is something you’ll learn from and get better at.

Since I graduated from a community college in Chicago’s western suburbs, I lived with my parents for the first two years of my college career. Sometimes it was a hassle to drive back and forth from class to work to my house every day of the week, but eating homemade food after class almost made it worth it.

That’s probably one of the first things you’ll miss about home once you move into your apartment. You’ll get to the point where you run out of places to eat on Green Street, or you’ll notice that all your money is going to fast food. I won’t say I’m a chef and cook gourmet meals for myself every day, but I’ve learned enough in the kitchen to get by. Doing grocery shopping and stocking up on pastas, soup, bagels, and cereal ends up being less expensive (and probably healthier) than buying Jimmy John’s every day.

Another thing I’ve learned thanks to living in an apartment is the value of getting out and getting involved. I’ve never lived in a dorm room, so I can’t speak on that, but I know most students who have, ended up meeting most of their friends on their dorm floor or complex. Having your own bedroom in an apartment is nice, but it is not as easy to meet or interact with people if you never get out. Luckily, there are so many clubs and organizations at U of I that already exist that you can become a part of. All it takes is to have that motivation to get out!

Last but not least: roommates. Getting along with your roommates is essential to living in an apartment. I say this because you’ll have to share common areas like a kitchen, living room, and bathroom. I live with two other girls, and we have learned how important it is to make sure everyone’s on the same page with cleaning responsibilities, general “house rules,” and that rent and bills are taken care of. My biggest advice is to be vocal with your roommates, and express any concerns early on so they don’t become bigger problems later on.

Living in an apartment can be enjoyable, or it can be hectic- it all depends on how you approach it. For me, it was something completely new, but I’ve definitely gotten the hang of it, and so will you!

Technology Woes? Visit CITES

By Sarah Bransley


I recently spoke with a transfer student at an orientation about her troubles accessing her course website and recognized that many incoming students don’t know about our amazing IT support guys at CITES! CITES, or Campus Information Technologies ­­and Educational Services, is an amazing resource for not only for faculty but students as well.

I first interacted with CITES when trying to access the campus WiFi with my smartphone. I called their help line and they helped me figure out how to access the student-only WiFi. The guys I talked with on the phone were really polite, helpful, and got my problem figured out in less than 15 minutes! I didn’t need to call them though, because you can also email them or visit them during walk-in hours. The second time I contacted them it was because I was certain my computer had a virus. A separate program sends student workers to your home to help you fix your computer, as CITES itself does not work on student computers. However, CITES was happy to set me up with the program and get me on my way as well as offer the names of some companies in town who could also do the work.

Not everyone will have my problems with computers. Maybe you’re like the girl I spoke with and only having trouble accessing your classes online. Whether it be on Compass2G, Moodle, or any other university website, CITES can help you! Another online headache can be figuring out how to set up your school email using Gmail. CITES can also help you with that, as well as MS Exchange, Spam Control, and other email issues. Their website (shown below) has links to all of their services, including my favorite, where you can find discounted or free software and software training.

Basically CITES is there to back you up for your technology needs while on campus. If you have a problem and haven’t tried them already, check it out! They explain a lot on their website so you might not even have to contact them to solve your problem. Here’s to hoping you have no technology woes this semester!