JCU hosts plenty of little activities throughout the semester that is a welcome break between classes and a nice chance to bump into familiar faces. A few staple ones that occur weekly are…
Held on Tuesday at 10.30am- 11.30am in front of Miss Sushi, International Café was just a place to get a hot drink and biscuit before dashing off to your next class. It gradually evolved as local acts came to perform live music, a book exchange started, and the International Student Team (hello Alex and Tristan if you are reading this, I always see you there on Tuesday) seem set on giving us a variety of food to try each week. From the top of my head I remember being given scones, pumpkin cake, spring rolls, and sticky rice since the start of the semester. If I have the time, I love making this part of my Tuesday routine.
Held on Thursday at 12pm-2.30pm (rough timing) in front of Miss Sushi, the Farmer’s Market has been a recent occurrence since the beginning of the year. In conjunction with the Sustainability Club, the Market was first brought to the JCU to address the strong wishes of students to buy fresh and cheap fruits and vegetables without having to travel far (i.e., Willows or Flinders Street Sunday Markets). While they use to occupy the grassy patch in front of Building 5, they now commandeer the Amphitheatre in front of Miss Sushi and sell everything from lemonade (edible sweet lemons!) to fresh herbs. You can even pay by card!
Held on Fridays at 4pm-late, the evening starts off with live music before the DJ takes over. After a short hiatus last semester, the Uni Club is back every Friday for students to gather instead of having to take the bus to town. With your choice of pre-drinks or cheap drinks, keep your Fridays free after slaving away for the week! Remember to bring your student ID for entry.
Aside from weekly events, there are a sporadic events such as Free Lunch Friday (once a month) that have activites such as boomerang painting and juggling lessons for something out of the norm. I’ve yet to figure out the timings for when Free Brekkie is, organised by the Student Association, you can see them frying up free breakfast to serve. I have no idea what sort of breakfast it is because I somehow miss it altogther or arrive just when they’re packing up. If anyone has leads on this let me know.
This year, JCU was also host to the Townsville Culture Festival (held on August each year) where you can watch dance or music performances by local acts. Aside from professional performers, many student groups participate in this- the Indonesian society played traditional instruments, the Latin Soiety showcased some music and dancing skills, and the Asian Association had some members who displayed their training in martial arts and we had another group that danced to a medley of K-Pop songs.
Photo Credit: Qi Yong
As part of the martial arts group last year and the dance group this year, I can thoroughly say the practice for both groups required a lot and a lot of dedication and there were times I was only attending because I couldn’t let my dance team down. Here is a link to our performance (minus martial arts, we’ve still yet to find a recording for that) if you’d like to have a look. I won’t even bother using a veil of humbleness to show people this, I am so proud we managed to pull through with this crazy choreography.
A friend of mine was also there to do some singing and it was really nice that the festival allowed students to use it as a platform to show-off their talent to a wider audience. Another link to follow if you like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9p2Z622YL8
Besides large events like these, important days such as R U OK Day, NAIDOC (a march of solidarity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders), and most recently Eid Mubarak organised by the Muslim Student Association were all held at JCU. There are always so many things around campus that taking a walk out might get you more than you expected.
(I do realise I may be excluding the other half of the Medicine and Veterinary campus as most of these events take place around the library and Central Amphitheatre, sorry about that, you guys are closer to the grocery store and have the new building as compensation.)