The University Center gave away prizes Wednesday as it held an open house from 2:00 p.m to 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the daily hustle and bustle of the UC, the open house was held with booths and tables from a number of both on and off-campus organizations and entities, including the Center for Student Involvement, Down Under Recreation, Starbucks, the Central Ticket Office, the popular Neuro beverages, Volunteer Dining and a long list of others.

A "Connect 4" game was offered for students, who were given a gamecard to get stamped by representatives from each organization table or booth. For each line completed, a student earned an entry, and if a student filled the whole card and the bonus space, they could earn up to five entries for a chance to win various prizes. These prizes included a speaker set, a free bowling party, a $50 UCopy gift card and Six Flags tickets. There was also a prize for free Chick-fil-A for a semester.

Jonathan Jackson, sophomore in computer science, enjoyed the charitable nature of the event.

"I like all the free stuff they're giving away," Jackson said.

This is not the first year the UC has put on such an event. Amy Anderson, recreation coordinator for the UC, said that this is the third year in a row they have put on an open house, which is usually held during the fall semester. The event has been very popular in the past, but the event's coordinators were unsure of how many to expect this year.

"It's a good way for students to explore the UC," Jackson said. "Last year, I didn't know where three-fourths of the stuff was." This year he still managed to learn something new, as he discovered "that there's a salad bar upstairs for lunch."

The UC offers a wide array of services to students, and according to its official website, the UC's mission statement is to "(support) the educational mission by providing quality services and facilities, a sense of place, and an interactive living room of the University." Serving students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests, the University Center is committed to student development and learning, civic engagement and discourse, multiculturalism, healthy living and sustainability."

Brian Rodgers, building manager for the UC, believes the University Center is integral to student experiences.

"It gives a sense of community. The services within the building, while important, are secondary," Rodgers said. "It helps unite the campus and serves as a place for students to come to hang out and converse."

Jackson agrees on the importance of the UC.

"Definitely, it has a lot of resources. I'll come over here to eat lunch, do homework and be involved in stuff. The more you're involved, the more you enjoy it."