A southern-comfort feel

By Adrian Finiak

Mardi Gras exists all year long at NIU.

The New Orleans Room, located in the basement of Stevenson North C, makes this fantasy true. The non-profit lounge is open to all students and is organized by the Residence Hall Association.

The room’s theme is consistent with downtown New Orleans and includes street lamps, brick flooring and a courtyard fountain.

The location of the NOR was once used as a substitute dining area for students, but for the last three years the NOR has been in existence as an alternative social lounge.

“The New Orleans Room is one of the hidden treasures of NIU,” said Jon Barkdoll, a senior electrical engineering major.

The lounge atmosphere is warm and inviting, offering a variety of activities for no cost. The spacious area features billiards, pingpong and foosball tables. A dart board is located on a wall and an upright piano is found near the entrance.

A comfortable seating area surrounds a large screen television which has DVD and video game capability. Tables and chairs offer more seating. The entire room has a speaker system wired into the ceiling.

The NOR is open for use to students and organizations. Student organizations have used the room in the past for parties and meetings. Some organizations have already booked the room this year for weekly meetings.

“[The Residence Hall Association] would love to see students going down to the NOR and having good, free fun,” said Dave Sweeney, RHA administrative vice president.

Reservation request forms for the NOR are available by e-mailing RHA and paper forms will soon be available at the RHA office located at B-50 Neptune North. RHA recommends requesting a few weeks before the assumed date.

“The more people who use it the better it will be,” said RHA President Dan Chou.

No set hours are currently available for the NOR. For more information about the NOR, contact RHA at 752-1078.