Grafton: My Home Away From Home

College is a time where people find themselves, hit the party scene, and spend weekends in questionable places. My weekends? Same thing… kind of. Most Friday and Saturday nights will find me partying it up in Grafton theater.

My friends don’t always understand the siren call Grafton sends out, but every time I go there I can feel the stresses of the week wash away amid soothing music and amazing movies. Plus, the delicious popcorn that smells so good while popping tastes even better after 30 minutes of working in the lobby.

 Sure, the movie messes up sometimes and the theater is cold enough to require a parka, but it is my home-away-from-home. If it weren’t for the little idiosyncrasies, Grafton wouldn’t be the whimsical little theater I know and love. It is because of this love that pushed me to apply to be the Grafton Slide Coordinator!

 Grafton Slides—yeah those ads you sit and watch in a loop before each show, are mostly made by me. I knew that I loved being in UPB and in the Film committee, but I felt a deeper draw to become more involved. Finance and administration don’t really appeal to me, but the Slide Coordinator has creative freedom to create anything they wanted. I have spent many hours creating promotions for upcoming movies and general UPB events, and though Photoshop can sometimes be vindictive, I have a great time stretching my imagination.

 It was one of the best decisions of my college career to join UPB and I don’t regret it for a minute. I hope that everyone can find that feeling of a second home during their reign at JMU… meanwhile you can find me chilling in the lobby of Grafton, with the possessed vending machine and wonky lockers, eating my popcorn and drawing up ideas for next week’s slideshow.

 ~Christine Wells, Grafton Slide Coordinator, Film Committee

Demons On The Dance Floor

In preparation for Halloween this weekend, I found a perfect song to include on your playlist!  Watch (or just listen) to new artist Kaity Jane and her song “Demons On The Dance Floor.”

~Mitch Ramey, Public Relations Director


Present day Oktoberfest has more then 5 million attendees each year.  It is a three-week long festival that runs from mid-September through the first week of October.  Traditional German food is served including Würstl (sausages), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Brezn (pretzels), Kasspatzn (cheese noodles), and various Oktoberfest beverages.

 The history of Oktoberfest dates back to October 12th, 1810 in Munich, Germany.  Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese and in order to commemorate their marriage, a great horse race is thrown.  The horse race went over well (I mean really who doesn’t love a festival?!) and it was decided to make the festival an annual celebration.

Unfortunately most of us cannot afford to fly to Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest with them.  Now, UPB and SafeRides have found a way to bring it to us. This Friday, at 9:00pm, on Festival Lawn, JMU is going to have their very own “Octoberfest”.  The activities that will be there include a haunted SafeRide, pumpkin painting, and a costume contest. I hope I win the iPod Touch!  There will also be free food and a cappella performances.  Hope to see you all there!

 ~Kelsey Coffin & Samantha Long, Spirit & Traditions

Interview With Michael Ian Black

Last Thursday night, comedian Michael Ian Black performed for a packed crowd in Wilson Hall.  The night was filled with hilarious jokes, awkward moments, and uproaring laughter.  Before the night began, I sat down with Michael Ian Black for a little one-on-one and discussed his stand-up and acting careers, his advice for college students, and even his quest to be the next Angelina and Brad!

UPB: Which do you like more, stand-up shows or acting?

MIB: Both mediums are fun to do.  I prefer stand-up for the most part because you get the immediate response back from the audience.

UPB: What about your recent book?  How does that fit in?

MIB: Writing a book is more fun than TV too because it’s just you.  No one can tell you what is right or wrong when it’s your own thoughts. Versus a TV show, people will they you they love you, then tell you you’re doing everything wrong, then you change it to make them happy, then they don’t like your show and cancel it!

UPB: Do you have any show’s coming up?

MIB: Actually yes.  Currently, we’re shooting a pilot for E!.  The show is called “The Black List” and is a combination of stand-up and a talk show of sorts.  I hope it get’s greenlighted.

UPB: Switching topics, do you prefer doing college shows vs. other dates?

MIB: I do college shows for the credit only.  3 credits for every 4 shows.  I’m working hard for a degree.

UPB: And what will you do with this special degree?

MIB: Work at Starbucks.  What else is a college degree good for.  (laughs)

UPB: What advice do you have for us college students?

MIB: Well…I don’t know. Just don’t worry about grades.  Everyone is so focused on grades and they really don’t matter.  Not once has someone asked to see my diploma.  I don’t even have a diploma, so I guess that works out well (laughs).  Just barely pass.  Actually, don’t even.  I didn’t pass and you can see how wildly uber successful I am!  I’m kidding- work hard and it will pay off in the end.

UPB: Ok.  Switching topics.  What is one thing on your bucket list?

MIB: (thinks…)  I really want to adopt.  From some country.  Like Namibia.

UPB: So you want to be the next Angelina and Brad and adopt babies from foreign countries?

MIB: Who said I wanted to adopt a baby?  I want to adopt an adult.  A wealthy Namibian adult.  Yup, that’s what I want to do.

UPB: Ok then!  Good luck!  So last question.  What are you and your kids going to be for Halloween?

MIB: Actually, when you’re an actor, the last thing you want to do is dress up as something else on your days off.  So I never dress up for Halloween.  But my kids are.  My son is being the Grim Reaper, and my daughter is being a Cowgirl.  I told them they should both just be Grim Cowgirls but  they didn’t agree.

UPB: Awesome, good luck with it!  Have a great show tonight.

MIB: Thank you.

~Mitch Ramey, Public Relations Director

Catch A Laugh With Michael Ian Black!

Are you interested in going to the Wilson Concert Series featuring B.o.B. on October 28th but weren’t one of the lucky one’s that got a ticket?  Now you’re in luck! The exclusive last TWO TICKETS are being raffled at the Michael Ian Black show this TONIGHT at 8 pm in Wilson!!! If you haven’t gotten a ticket yet, it’s only $8 with your JAC at the door and $10 for the public.   You don’t want to miss out on a hilarious show!

For more information on the Michael Ian Black show, go to the Facebook event: UPB Presents… Michael Ian Black. He starred on several popular TV comedy series, including Ed, Stella, and Michael and Michael Have Issues which is currently running on Comedy Central. He has performed on NBC, Comedy Central, and VH1’s “I Love the…” series. So come share your love with Michael Ian Black for an hour of side-splitting hilarity, and you’ll have the chance to win the raffle to attend the Wilson Concert Series featuring B.o.B. later this month!! You won’t regret it!

~Katie Teague, Center Stage

Purple Out!

As Dukes, we automatically become accustomed to wearing purple.  It’s not just on game days or during CHOICES, but we wear it almost daily.  We wear “Purple Out” t-shirts, purple JMU hoodies, purple shoes, purple sweaters, purple sunglasses – WE BLEED PURPLE through and through!  And I can’t think of anything better! 

But today, I’m wearing purple for a whole other reason.  Recently, many young people have taken their lives because of anti-gay bullying.  This homophobic abuse took place in their homes, at school, and in public; and this needs to end!  We must send a strong message now that such a culture is unacceptable.  I hope today you can not only show your JMU pride, but also wear purple as a remembrance of those that have been lost over the years and to demonstrate your support for a society where diversity is embraced and nourished, not ridiculed.  Struggling LGBT youth need to know that there is a large community eager to support them!

Luckily, JMU is such a supportive community.  I feel comfortable being out and proud here.  I have rarely felt ridiculed or made fun of for being gay at JMU, but I know I’m one of the lucky ones.  I have amazing friends and a supportive family that have been with me along the way.  With amazing organizations like Madison Equality and JMU SafeZone, there is no reason any Duke should not be proud of who they are!  If you are struggling with issues, or just want to chat, they are there for you!  And so am I.  Feel free to stop in the UPB office (Taylor 234) anytime to talk with me!

Remember, wear purple today to show your support.  For more information, check out the links below.

~Mitch Ramey, Public Relations Director



Laugh Out Loud!

The countdown has begun; only 4 days until Michael Ian Black! Can you believe it? The show is next Thursday October 21 at 8PM in Wilson! Tickets are only five dollars (I already bought mine) and 2 tickets to the sold out B.o.B show will raffled off!

If you regretted not seeing Aziz Ansari like I did last year, you can’t miss this! Many of you have probably seen Michael Ian Black’s smirk around campus and hopefully you recognized him. I’m a fan of his quirky commentary on “I love the…”  70’s,80’s and 90’s shows on VH1. If you’ve seen his comedic prowess then I’m sure you’ve  already bought your ticket. But for those of you have not (yet)- check out Michael Ian Black on  twitter ( and Youtube some of his stand up. You don’t want to miss out on this, it’s going to be hilarious!

~Jordan Lawson, Special Events