Four Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know Existed at Butler

Jenna Voris | Opinion Columnist

After a few weeks at Butler University, it is easy to feel like you know campus like the back of your hand.  You can start to tell Jordan Hall from Atherton Memorial Union, and getting to class on time no longer challenges you.

Don’t get too confident, though; Butler has its fair share of secrets. Here are the top four things you probably didn’t know about Butler.

  1. The High Ropes Challenge Course

There were a few times my first year at Butler where I would hear people talk about this mysterious “high ropes course.” I had no idea it was something associated with the Butler Health and Recreation Complex, much less where it was, until this year when I accidentally discovered it on my way to class along the canal.

According to Butler’s official website, the course offers a variety of structures to jump from, swing on and climb.  The course can be reserved by groups, or you can head over to check it out on your own at the next Open High Course day for free Oct. 9.

Yes, I said free. Go crazy.

  1. Holcomb Gardens

The number one thing I was concerned about while moving into my new apartment at University Terrace was the long walk to campus. Seriously, 8 a.m. classes are bad enough without a twenty-minute hike before the sun rises.

The first day, when I finally dragged myself out the door, I decided to try out the shortcut my roommate had suggested and ended up in Holcomb Gardens.

I was surprised I had spent a whole year at Butler without knowing about how beautiful the gardens were. There are long rows of bushes, flowers and neatly trimmed hedges.  There’s a statue of the Greek goddess Persephone and a driveway that leads right up behind Gallahue Hall.

Besides serving as a fantastic shortcut to class, Holcomb is pretty much the only big green space left on campus.  If you are looking for a place to hang out with friends that isn’t Starbucks, I would highly recommend a trip to Holcomb Gardens.

  1. Indianapolis Children’s Choir

Butler’s performing arts department is incredible. Chances are, you’ve seen the marching band perform at a football game, or have seen students carrying instruments, pointe shoes, and sheet music around campus.

What many people are unaware of, however, is the fact that Butler is home to a world renowned group called the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. According to the choir’s official website, they provide music instruction and performance opportunities to over 3,200 students from 326 schools.  Each week, 135 rehearsals and music classes are held in Butler’s very own Lily Hall.

The Indianapolis Children’s Choir has performed with professional artists such as Celine Dion, Barry Manilow, and Kelly Clarkson.  The choir has also had the honor of singing the National Anthem at the NCAA Women’s Final Four Championship Game, US Grand Prix, Indy 500 Parade, and even at the 2012 Superbowl.  These talented kids have also performed on every continent except Antarctica.

Butler performing arts are really cool, but community arts are also important.  Check out the Indianapolis Children’s Choir’s upcoming Halloween Concert at Broadway United Methodist Church on Oct. 30.

  1.  Broadway Across America

You do not have to make the trek to New York City to see a Broadway musical.  Look no further than Clowes Memorial Hall.  

As students, we probably know Clowes as the place where the school held programs during orientation and where guest speakers sometimes visit.  It turns out Clowes is important to the Indianapolis community as well, providing a place for people all over the city to watch live musical productions and entertainment.

According to its website, the Broadway Across America series will bring six shows to Indianapolis for the 2015-2016 season. Three of them will be performed right here at Clowes. Starting in January 2016, Indianapolis residents will have the opportunity to see performances of The Wizard of Oz, Once and Newsies.

Sometimes the struggle of escaping the “Butler Bubble” can be real. After eating the same Atherton food for months on end, hiking up to the third floor of Jordan Hall for the millionth time or passing that same guy or girl multiple times in one day, it’s easy to think that you’ve seen it all.

Try something new tomorrow. Take a different route to class or go somewhere else for lunch. Who knows: Butler might surprise you.