Despite the rain, students found comfort in the Ski Lodge two weeks ago during one of the University Center Program Council (UCPC) CoffeeHouse events. Instead of coffee, fruit punch was served alongside popcorn and Krispy Kreme donuts as complementary vouchers for a free cup of Starbucks (with the purchase of a pastry) were passed around. The glaze on the donuts wasn’t the only thing that was sweet about that night. Valise, an aspiring band from Dallas, TX, performed for the crowd live. The even sweeter part? It was all free.
Composed of four members, Valise brought their signature ambient melodies to the UTSA campus. Intimate, soothing and heartfelt, their music filled the lodge, catching the attention of those passing by.
At the CoffeeHouse, there were many who came to support this underground Texas group. Nick Zuniga, a marketing major, commented that this was one of the first events he has checked out on campus since he had started this semester. “I wanted to hear good music,” Zuniga said. “I’m open to any genre; art is music and music is art.”
UCPC’s events take place every Wednesday in the UC Courtyard or, sometimes, in the Ski Lounge. The schedule usually rotates with the CoffeeHouse, Open-Mic Might and Poetry Jam Slam.
Caitlyn Shula, the CoffeeHouse’s committee coordinator, said that the student activity fee (which is included in students’ tuition fees) funds these events. “The committee was started due to the lack of late night activities for students that reside on campus. There was a need to have something for them to do at night,” Shula said. So like the REC Center, it is a benefit that students should take advantage of on campus.
However, many students don’t know about the event. “Get the word out a bit more… I mean, I knew they did things like this, but I had no clue that there was one happening tonight,” Michael Nighswander, an engineering major, said at a CoffeeHouse event.
Nighswander, along with health major Ginger Kneale, agreed that these events are beneficial for people like them who live around the campus and are looking for close-by entertainment.
Both Nighswander and Kneale are residents of Laurel Village and caught sight of the sign outside the door of the Ski Lodge advertising free donuts. “They need to hold (the UCPC Events) because we get bored on the weekends when we stay here,” Kneale said.
Senior Hannah Garrison was among a few other students who had been studying at the Ski Lodge before the event started. “I liked it a lot,” she said. “Usually the work that I’m doing requires silence, or some type of music that doesn’t bother me too much, but I thought it was really relaxing sitting here and watching them perform down there. It was pretty cool.”
Check out Valise at their website at . Events like the CoffeeHouse are posted on the UTSA Event calendar and can be found at . The UCPC is student run; for those interested in getting involved, check out for details.