Summer in Chambana

by Sarah Bransley

It’s almost summer break! The majority of students are excited to pack up and get back home to be with family and friends from home. However, for a portion of us, we stay in Chambana for either research or classes.

A lot of first timers want to know – What’s it like in Chambana over the summer? Is there anything to do?

First off, I love the summer. Campus pretty much shuts down. Between places closing for extended periods or changing hours, it’s like a ghost town. Except there’s this amazing thing that happens. You can walk across the Quad without someone trying to sell you poorly baked goods or getting hit by a cyclist or getting stuck behind a wall of the SLOWEST WALKERS IN EXISTENCE. You also don’t have to wait in line for anything. And if you do, it’s like two people. Does that even count as waiting?

Campus isn’t the only part of town affected. Driving around town gets so much easier. You can tell that a huge portion of the population is gone. It takes less time to get places and you see the effects EVERYWHERE. The mall, the grocery stores, the highway, etc.

Don’t think that means there’s nothing to do in the summer. Chambana is the best place to be in the summer! It seems like there’s a festival or concert nearly every weekend. The Taste of Champaign, the SweetCorn Festival and the Blues Brews & BBQ Festival are my favorites and probably the largest. I also love movies on the Quad hosted by our own Illini Union Board! This summer I’m also going to try and check out Krannert Uncorked, which is a concert and wine tasting at Krannert. My boyfriend also insists that we visit the arboretum, which is supposed to be gorgeous.

If you still can’t find anything you want to do here (really? I mean come on) then Chicago or St. Louis are both about 2-3 hours away. Not impossible for a weekend trip.

Whatever you choose, have fun!

In It For the Long Run

By Sarah Bransley

Are you a runner or know someone that runs? Ever seen those super happy people covered in color or mud? Those are marathon runners and at UIUC we have all sorts of marathons you can take part in. From a Color Run to our Boston qualifying Illinois Marathon, there’s probably a run for you.

Now I haven’t run in a really long time (like since middle school) but I got to experience the Illinois Marathon first hand because my previous employer, Einstein Bros Bagels, is a sponsor of the race! I was at the starting line handing out bagel bites with cream cheese and coffee to both runners and those coming to cheer them on. The atmosphere at these events is all about good energy and happiness. Most runners just want to finish whatever race they’ve signed up for so there’s less competition and more comradery. I had many friends run in various races (5k, 10k, or the full) and they all finished! I’ve also had friends who were less distance-orientated run in the “fun” races like the Color Run. That’s basically a race where they throw colored paint/chalk at you as you reach certain check points. So much fun!

As a transfer student, sometimes we don’t know what the town we transfer to has to offer. That’s what this blog and TAG is for, to tell you guys what our school and town has to offer! If you are a runner, or just want to do something fun, grab some friends and sign up for a run this season! I’m sure you’ll have a blast. Maybe I’ll even see you there!

TAG Events: Bonfires & Volunteer Opportunities

 By Sarah Bransley


It’s that time of year for falling leaves, the smell of wood smoke, and eating s’mores! TAG members braved the one of the first cold days of the season last Sunday at our bonfire event. Huddled around a warm grill, members enjoyed s’mores, hot dogs, and hot chocolate in the scenic atmosphere of Illini Grove.

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Another TAG Meeting was held and TAG members were treated to a guest speaker, Angie Armstrong, from Thomas Paine Elementary School. Angie gave TAG members insights into volunteer opportunities at the local Urbana school systems. This is the second year that TAG members will participate as volunteers in this particular program.


Following the volunteer presentation we had TAG updates. A large portion of the update was a presentation on the TAG Blog! Members were invited to contribute to the blog and were given a glimpse of the changes planned. Social events, plans for TAG, and other topics were also covered.



Thank you to everyone who showed up and we hope to see you all at our next event!