by Tom Woolf
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale will make suites available in one of its residence halls for solar eclipse weekend in August.
Approximately 200 suites — two residence hall rooms joined by a bathroom – are available for the weekend, beginning Aug. 19, in Schneider Hall.
Carbondale is in the path of totality for not one, but two total solar eclipses. The first total solar eclipse over the U.S. since 1979 will reach its point of greatest duration on Aug. 21 just a few miles south of the campus. The next solar eclipse will happen on April 8, 2024. The centerlines of totality for both of these eclipses intersect over Cedar Lake, which also is a short distance south of SIU.
For full details of SIU’s plans for the historic August event, visit the eclipse website. Festivities will include the Crossroads Eclipse 2017 Research Workshop, the Crossroads Astronomy, Science and Technology Expo, the Crossroads Art and Craft Fair, and Eclipse Comic Con 2017.
Among SIU’s partners for the eclipse are NASA, the Adler Planetarium of Chicago, the Louisiana Space Consortium, and Planetary Radio. The NASA EDGE global webcast of the eclipse will originate from just outside Saluki Stadium.
Schneider Hall is one of three high-rise residence halls on the east side of campus commonly referred to as “the towers.” The location is a short walk from the stadium and the SIU Arena, the primary venues for eclipse-related activities.
Each suite will cost $800 for three nights, plus taxes. Suites will be available after 11 a.m. on Aug. 19; all guests must be checked out by 11 a.m. on Aug. 22. Guests will receive a wristband when they check in that they must wear to gain entry to the residence hall. Full payment is due when making reservations; there will be no refunds.
Each suite will offer four twin beds. While extra beds or roll-away beds will not be available, guests may provide their own inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags for up to a maximum of eight people per suite. Linens (mattress pad, two sheets, pillow, pillow case, blanket) will be provided for the four beds, as will towels and washcloths for four people.
Commemorative SIU eclipse glasses will be provided for up to four people per reservation. Additional glasses will be available for purchase at the time of check-in.
University Housing also will offer a meal plan for $90 for the dining hall in Trueblood Commons, which serves the east campus housing complex, for the weekend. Carry-outs will not be permitted, but guests can visit the dining hall and enjoy the all-you-care-to-eat menu as many times as they want throughout their stay. Meal plans will not be sold on site.
Guest parking will be available a short distance from Schneider Hall. Parking will cost $36 for the entire stay.
To learn more and to make suite reservations, visit University Housing’s website.