Open Streets Recap

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the University of Minnesota campus became host to a variety of setups and demonstrations for student groups and Minneapolis organizations. Here are a few highlights:

Photo: Ellen Schmidt

 Open Streets participants were able to use goggles simulating sobriety tests as part of a drunk driving advocacy group. Here, Tim Gaynor struggles to stay on course.

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Photo: Ellen Schmidt

Vanessa Fowler tries out the “drunk vision” goggles. They represent a person’s vision at .16 percent.

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Photo: Ellen Schmidt

Tim Schultheis and the Minnesota Bicycle Coalition set up a protected bikeway. The coalition wants to get more scenic bikeways set up around Minneapolis.

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Photo: Ellen Schmidt

Of his protected bikeways, Tim Schultheis said “We want to get these around, but we’re kind of afraid that people will steal the flowers.”

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Photo: Ellen Schmidt

Aviary Fitness Center caught a lot of attention with their Open Streets setup. Here Amanda Degraw tries out one of her poses.

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Photo: Ellen Schmidt

Passersby could also try out their aerial moves on the Aviary display.

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Photo: Ellen Schmidt

Hideaway featured a tent where Open Streets participants could try out various hookah flavors.

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

“You might have seen us walking around the mall with clipboards at the beginning of the semester [for voter registration],” Chris Stanley said. “The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group is a non-partisan, non-profit student group focusing on racial justice, the environment, and getting out the vote.”

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

If you don’t know where to start with candidate research, “just study what’s important to you,” said one of the City of Minneapolis employees. “The biggest thing is to make your voice heard. Not voting is also voting. Silence counts against you.”

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

“Everyone has a different experience with [the Church of Eckankar],” Abbie Burgess said. “For me, it’s a great sense of freedom and discovery. There are wonderful people, and we all accept each other and our beliefs; there’s respect for everyone.”

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

“A lot of people don’t know you can just hop in [the West Bank Community Garden] and go at it,” Kaylee Grunseth said. “In an urban place, it’s a little source of green.”

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

“On the physical side [of Falun Gong], there are health benefits,” Chris Cheng said. “My wife used to have back pain–severe–but now it’s gone. On the mental side, the value system is compassion and tolerance. We live the values day in and day out. There’s a balance between mind and body.”

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

“For me, it’s having to understand how to communicate to one another, how we can get a mutual understanding outside of language. Like your perception of red is different than my definition of red, so how do we mutually understand it together?” Blongsha Hang is the president of the University of Minnesota’s Lingo Club.

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

“My sister was part of [Radio K], and when I joined the U, I joined right away,” Jio Nocon said. “The summer before my freshman year, I was volunteering during the variety shift at Radio K.” Now he’s a senior and the traffic director there, where he logs the ads and continues to post his electronic music show. Nocon’s electronic music suggestion? “Off the top of my head … Junior Boys. That’s a good one to start with.”

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

From artificial intelligence to discussions on knowing vs. believing, Philosophy Club is open to all majors. “We’re a discussion-based group to talk about life questions that somebody might have … to analyze things on a deeper level,” Josh Stim said. “Most people are pretty open-minded anyway; it’s what makes it exciting.”

Photo: Marah Nightingale

Photo: Marah Nightingale

The Commuter Connection is on the second floor of Coffman Memorial Union. Throughout the year they hold activities such as painting, video games, and parties. “[The value of the Commuter Connection] is definitely being able to be with people who understand the commuting lifestyle where we can’t all hang out 9 p.m,” Christina Le said.

Photo: Kellen Renstrom

Photo: Kellen Renstrom

In only eight hours, the Weisman Art Museum Collective and artist Sean P. Connaughty collected more than 6,000 pieces of trash along the Mississippi River, and then they catalogued and sorted it, leaving no mystery of what had been left along the riverbanks.

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Photo: Kellen Renstrom

“People can see the negative impact that occurs when trash is not disposed of properly,” WAM Collective member Gina Watylyk said.

Photo: Kellen Renstrom

Photo: Kellen Renstrom

And of course, The Wake was at Open Streets as well.