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The Antelope

The Antelope

UNK students explore businesses at Destination Uptown

The UNK Office of Student and Family Transitions hosted the Destination Uptown event this past Thursday. The Hilltop Mall housed vendors, games, giveaways, food, music and discounts for students.

The event was pushed back from its original date due to COVID-19 precautions.

“The COVID event committee asked us to move our event from Jan. 7,” said Renae Zimmer, Assistant Director of Student/Family Transitions and Leadership. “At the time, UNK still enforced a mask mandate while the mall did not. For safety precautions, they asked us to move our event to Feb. 24.”

Students were provided transportation uptown.

“The shuttle from campus will start at 5 p.m. and will leave the mall at 8 p.m.,” Zimmer said. “We are really hopeful that students come out and see what the Kearney community has to offer for them.”

Destination Uptown is a similar event to that of Destination Downtown to connect UNK students to the Kearney community and businesses. Around 20 vendors contributed to the event, according to Zimmer.

“I really enjoyed Destination Downtown,” said UNK freshman Austin Schnase. “I thought that my friends and I could come check it out, it’s pretty cool seeing all of the businesses and what they are advertising for.”

Games, food, giveaways and more were offered to students.

“Some UNK organizations will be there set up by the west entry of the mall,” Zimmer said. “There are prize drawings, a DJ with music and a caricature artist.”

Student organizations such as First Gen Lopers had tables with t-shirts, stickers and other giveaways throughout the night.

Social media advertising brought students to the mall.

“We were bored and saw the event posted on Instagram,” said Ibinye Green, a sophomore Health Sciences Pre-PA major. “With being so busy with school and volleyball, I feel like I don’t get to see much of the community. This gives me a chance to see what’s out there.”

Vendors also look forward to chatting with students.

“We always love this event,” said Margaret Derr, a national recruiter for the Buckle. “Even though we are on the outskirts of the action, we really appreciate students stopping by. We are always looking to add more people to our team part-time.”

Some of the other mall merchants felt overlooked.

“We do feel a bit left out on this end of the mall with the music by the west entrance,” Derr said. “If we had some entertainment or games, students might feel more inclined to hang out down here and stop by. Buckle really enjoys being a part of the community that connects with UNK students.”

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