Special Events for RA’s Kick Off Fall Downtown Activities


Eighty-five Resident Assistants (RA’s) took part in a downtown orientation experience on Aug.15 showcasing dining, entertainment and shopping options in downtown Scranton.

The University’s Offices of Community Relations and Residence Life partnered with Scranton Tomorrow to offer an adapted version of their “FAM” walking tour to 45 new RA’s. Returning RA’s participated in a unique “Scavenger Hunt 2.0.”

The “FAM” tour is an engaging familiarization walking tour that goes in and out of a dozen businesses. New RA’s Faith Yusko and Tim Janes said they both found the walking tour to be informative and fun.

“There are really great local businesses downtown. They gave us free samples, and were very welcoming, Yusko said.

“I saw a lot of new places and got to know the area. It gave me a lot of new ideas on how to incorporate students into the downtown businesses and events,” Janes said.

The ‘Scavenger Hunt 2.0,’ designed by the Community Relations office, called for returning RA’s to find businesses based on 40 unique clues—each one detailing a fun fact about a downtown business. RA’s broke up into groups of three and took a funny or creative picture at the business. The funny photos were then uploaded to Instagram with the #Ratour, incorporating use of social media into the experience.  View the Top 15 photos here

“The clues are great representations of the businesses, and it’s a lot of fun to visit all of them this way,” Laura Rigby, a returning RA, said.  One clue that led students to The Fanciful Fox store described it as “One of the only places in the area to get 100% handmade, organic, vegan toiletries.”  Another highlighted City Café with the clue, “If you love feta cheese, hummus and baklava, this Mediterranean café is the place for you.”

After all of the RA’s met back at Courthouse Square, they dined at 13 different restaurants such as Sambuca Grille, Thai Rak Thai, and Carl Von Luger.

The RA Tour marked the beginning of a series of events this fall as part of the University’s Downtown Engagement Initiative. On Aug. 30, The University’s 3rd annual Downtown Scavenger Hunt will take place; an interactive hunt designed to get students more familiar with downtown offerings. Open to all students, groups of two travel around the downtown area using Foursquare and Instagram to solve clues at over 30 participating businesses. Open to all students, last year more than 200 participated.

The Downtown Scavenger Hunt is sponsored by PNC Bank, Martz Group, The Mall at Steamtown, Penn Star Bank & Trust, Penn Security Bank, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Wayne Bank, Broadway Theatre League, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center. 

There will be several other events to connect students with the downtown community this fall. During Family Weekend, Sept. 20-22, the University will coordinate its Family Table discount program featuring local eateries. On Oct. 4, Community Relations will partner with Residence Life once again to organize the Electric City Downtown Nite, which highlights First Friday and includes dinner at a downtown restaurant, followed by a movie at Marquee Cinemas or the Listen Local concert at the Scranton Cultural Center.

The University is also participating in two collaborative downtown events in partnership with the seven other Lackawanna County colleges.  A special Downtown Outdoor Movie, featuring Skyfall, is planned for Sept. 12 at 7:45 p.m in cooperation with Scranton Tomorrow.  Lackawanna County is hosting a special County College Battle of the Bands on Sept. 21 from 5-7 p.m. that will include student bands performing before a panel of judges.

For more information about the University’s Downtown Engagement Initiative, visit the Community Relations website.