Valle Crucis Weekend Retreat
After a month or so of school, everybody is usually ready for a change of scenery. To provide a bonding experience, help everybody let off some steam, and get students out of Greensboro for a weekend, the Residential College Office coordinates a dorm-wide retreat to the Valle Crucis Conference Center, located about twenty minutes outside of Boone. The retreat is open to all current residents, faculty, and staff of Ashby Residential College, although all interested participants are asked to pay a fee of $130. Depending on need, Budget Committee may help some students offset the expense.
One of our strongest traditions, Orientation Week is full of welcome activities – meals, movies, tours – that help students learn about UNCG, Ashby, and each other. Upper Class Mentors and Orientation Leaders help students and parents move in, get organized, and feel at home.
Pizza & Pumpkins
Living in a dorm makes carving pumpkins more than a little difficult. Sympathetic to the plight of current residents, the Ashby Residential College Alumni pitch in to provide pumpkins and pizza for the community. Current students sign up in teams and contend for a variety of superlatives, ranging from “Best Pumpkin” to “Most Disturbing Pumpkin,” and the prizes that come with them, particularly bragging rights. Afterward, enterprising students often collect the discarded pumpkin seeds and roast them for all to enjoy!
As Halloween looms on the horizon, students transform Mary Foust into a professional grade Haunted House attraction. Students work together to choose a theme, and then dive into weeks of planning, decoration, and advertising. On a Saturday near Halloween, the doors to Mary Foust are flung open to the general public. All proceeds are donated to The Arc of Greensboro. After the dust settles, in downtime, students plan and do preproduction on the next production.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
For more than a decade, Ashby students have come together to produce a full shadow-cast production of the cult-classic film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. What began as a couple of students having eccentric fun has turned into a well-loved tradition. Today, the annual production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show has evolved into a multi-night affair embraced not only by the Ashby community but other fans as well. The theatricality doesn’t end with Rocky, though. Students put on other events like Improv Nights, one-act plays, and an SNL comedy show.
Ashby faculty and students work together to prepare a Thanksgiving banquet. We turn the parlor into a dining room to share a meal and celebrate the community with skits, songs, and decorations. Students in Foustgiving project committee also help with the Garden Plot and smaller dinner parties to try out new recipes and cuisines.
Before exams and winter break separates the community for a month, students put on a semi-formal dance. The Yule Ball provides one last opportunity to socialize before exams. To fortify students for exams, Ashby alumni provide goody bags full of candy.
48-Hour Film Festival
Ashby students write, direct, and produce short films in just 48 hours. Once the films are finished, we have a screening and award prizes in various categories. The Film Festival hosts frequent screenings of Hollywood, indie, and global cinema, Oscars Night, and helps produce student films of all kinds.
Foustercon & Foust Stock
Foustercon is an annual convention much like Comic-Con, but smaller. Held in Mary Foust, it features presentations, roundtable discussions, local businesses and vendors, a nerd flea market, and more about video games, manga, Anime, comic books, graphic novels, and all things nerd culture. Foustercon also hosts frequent gaming parties, anime and comic film screenings, and other geek culture events.
Fouststock is a local music festival organized by the Ashby community every Spring. Fousters invite a wide variety of local musicians to provide an afternoon of entertainment for the UNCG community. During the Fall and Spring, Fouststock contributor host music listening parties, go to local performances, and organize student jam sessions.
Conference Presentations at UNCG’s Research Expo
Ashby undergraduates are encouraged to submit and present their research at academic conferences, including the Undergraduate Research Scholarship and Creativity Office’s annual Expo. Students produce poster presentations that illustrate their capstone research projects.
On Reading Day, the entire community assembles in the courtyard of Mary Foust for a group photograph. Everybody tries not to blink, the picture is taken, then mailed and e-mailed out over the summer just in time to meet a growing nostalgia in everybody’s heart.
At Commencement, the Ashby Office distributes scholarships for the coming year, a faculty member gives a short keynote address, and students graduating from both the two-year Residential College program are recognized individually for their time spent in Ashby College.