Thursday, September 6, 2012

56 Things

My coworker, Claudia, and I on the Fall Welcome Boat Tour. No. 1 and No. 55!
This month, my office introduced one of our exciting new initiatives, The UWM Bucket List. One of the major goals of our office is to develop the culture of student involvement on campus, and to help connect students to awesome things on campus and in the community. We know that not every student is going to want to be those rockstar orientation leaders, RAs, and student organization leaders, but we hope that they will carve out their own little niche on campus to call their own. So we figured this would be an accessible way to give students a taste of campus, through a fun sort of challenge.

 After seeing other campuses successfully implement similar programs (a huge shout out to Emily, who introduced me to University of South Florida's list), we thought it was worth giving it a shot. (One of the first things you learn working in education -  borrowing successful ideas!) So we polled students, faculty and staff, and finally settled on those key experiences and traditions. Some of them are things I never would have thought of, like "15. Close your eyes in the Fireside Lounge, known as UWM's quietest nap spot." Others are things that were already on my To Do list, like "See the city of Milwaukee by boat" (which I happened to check off last week as part of Fall Welcome, woo hoo).

We have gotten a lot of buzz with the students already, perhaps for the free t-shirt that they get if they complete the list. More than anything, we want them to get out there and have fun.

And because I am a list-lover myself, I am also trying to check off some of the traditions too. I have highlighted the ones I already have done. I may not be graduating, so my goal is to complete the 56 during my time at UWM. By far my favorite project yet.

Without further ado, here is the list, which can be found at

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Bucket List – 56 Things To Do Before You Graduate

Your UWM experience should be an adventure. Get out and explore all that UWM and Milwaukee has to offer, from campus life to local favorites. Finish the list? Receive a free T-shirt. What will you check off first?
  1. Attend a Fall Welcome event to kick off the academic year.
  2. Stargaze at the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium.
  3. Volunteer at RAK-A-Thon, MLK Jr. Day of Service, or the Hunger Clean Up.
  4. Get your photo taken with Pounce.
  5. Join one of UWM's 300+ student organizations. (I'll modify this one to "advise" - check)
  6. Attend the Distinguished Lecture Series.
  7. Visit the Milwaukee County Zoo and its 2,500 animals.
  8. Soak up the sun on Spaights Plaza.
  9. Vote for your student leaders in the Student Association election. (I can't do this one myself. Thankfully we built in a few freebies).
  10. Check out the Milwaukee Art Museum, it's free the first Thursday of the month.
  11. Take a trip with Outdoor Pursuits.
  12. Eat at Oakland Gyros, an East Side landmark.
  13. Participate in or volunteer at the Panther Prowl, UWM's annual 5K run/walk.
  14. Enjoy the lake view at Alterra at the Lake.
  15. Close your eyes in the Fireside Lounge, known as UWM's quietest nap spot.
  16. Attend PANTHERFEST.
  17. Enroll in a fitness class, or use the facilities at the Klotsche Center.
  18. Witness the cross-town rivalry at a UWM vs. Marquette soccer or basketball game.
  19. Attend the annual UWM Drag Show.
  20. Eat at the Kenwood Inn, located on the third floor of the Student Union.
  21. Grab a slice at Ian's Pizza on North Avenue.
  22. Play a game of volleyball or catch some rays at Bradford Beach, Milwaukee's largest public beach.
  23. Cheer on the Milwaukee Panthers men's basketball team at the Klotsche Center.
  24. Attend a competition for one of the 14 other Panther varsity athletic teams.
  25. Eat some popcorn and catch a movie at the Union Theatre.
  26. Attend one of the 300+ performances at the Peck School of the Arts.
  27. Wear UWM apparel to class and show your Panther Pride.
  28. Attend one of Milwaukee's many festivals.
  29. Check out the student artwork at the Union Art Gallery's Annual Juried Exhibition.
  30. Challenge friends to bowling, billiards, or ping pong at the Union Rec Center.
  31. Attend Jazz in the Park, Milwaukee's favorite free outdoor, summer music series.
  32. Eat lunch by the fountain outside of Curtin Hall.
  33. Root for the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
  34. Take a ride with Be On the Safe Side (BOSS).
  35. Enjoy a meal and check out Team Night Trivia or a performer in the Gasthaus.
  36. Reach out and make new friends you did not know in high school. - I meet new people every day! One of the best parts of my job!
  37. Visit the Milwaukee Public Market in the Historic Third Ward.
  38. Finish the crossword puzzle in one of the weekly editions of the UWM Post.
  39. Find your favorite Milwaukee Friday Fish Fry. (Most offer non-fish options too!)
  40. Meet the Chancellor.
  41. Try some of Milwaukee's famous frozen custard.
  42. Walk through Downer Woods, UWM's 11.1 acre preserved nature area.
  43. Attend a UWM graduation ceremony (other than your own).
  44. Visit the Career Development Center or attend one of the many career fairs.
  45. Attend a Bike-Powered Concert.
  46. Donate blood or volunteer at a Campus Blood Drive.
  47. Make something in the Studio Arts and Crafts Centre.
  48. See an outdoor movie under the stars. (We recommend Fish Fry and a Flick)
  49. Head down to the Milwaukee River Walk and take a photo with the Bronze Fonz.
  50. Run, walk, or bike the Oak Leaf or Hank Aaron State Trails.
  51. Get a cup of coffee or tea at the student-run 8th Note Coffeehouse.
  52. Take a class that interests you and has nothing to do with your major.
  53. Find the perfect study spot at the Golda Meir Library.
  54. Make snow angels on campus.
  55. See the city of Milwaukee by boat.
  56. Find the North Point Light Station in Lake Park.
**Choose Your Own Adventure Option – Don't feel like doing something on the list? You may opt to substitute up to three UWM bucket list items with a UWM campus or Milwaukee challenge of your choice. (As long as it is legal/ethical, of course).**
Complete all 56 items on this list, and bring your pictures, ticket stubs, etc. to the Center for Student Involvement (Union 363) for an "I Completed the UWM Bucket List" T-shirt!

Bucket List Bonus!

*Take the Bucket List Abroad! Send us your picture with Pounce at a must-visit place at your study abroad locale and we will post it on our web site!
*Graduate! – Show us your completed Bucket List and your graduation announcement and we will give you a sticker to wear on your cap at commencement.

Why 56 Things?

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was created in 1956. The UWM Bucket List was developed in 2012, 56 years from UWM's founding date. 56 things seems appropriate, don't you think?

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