There are many reasons why someone chooses to go to UND. For some it will be because they are from the area, they have scholarships for the school, they come here for the excellent programs or they simply just like the Grand Forks location. If you are still unsure about whether or not UND is for you, then visit these five places from the area that may help you make up your mind.

  1. Ralph Engelstad Arena

If you are from the area or not, you have probably heard of the Ralph Engelstad Arena and the many activities that are held there. Probably the most common thing to do at the Ralph is attend one of the many hockey games. UND is a popular hockey school and the sport is a big deal around here.

Kaiti Amble, UND sophomore Pre-Physical Therapy major, who has attended many hockey games says that “you haven’t experienced hockey, until you’ve been to the Ralph, and especially as a student. The student experience is like no other. Waiting outside for the best seat might be a little grueling sometimes, but the atmosphere in the student section is unrivaled.”

The facility was built and named after Ralph Engelstad, a UND alumni and prior UND hockey goalie. The Ralph hosts concerts in addition to sporting events and can seat up to just over 13,000 guests at its biggest capacity. Huge names like Carrie Underwood and the Minnesota Wild have performed at the Ralph. For UND students, hockey tickets are a small $10 for regular season games and you can purchase a concert ticket usually starting around $40- to $60. Simply just being in the arena and seeing all of the old pictures and learning more about the history of the place adds to the experience of being there.

  1. Red Pepper

College is where you may find yourself eating Ramen for every meal because that is the cheapest food you can find, but we all know that could get old. If you are familiar with UND or know someone who has lived in Grand Forks you have probably heard of Red Pepper. It is an iconic local chain of Mexican food that has two spots in the area, one being conveniently located on each end of campus, and another spot in Fargo. You can even get it shipped anywhere in the US. Red Pepper is a family owned business that has been around for 50 years.  It is famous for their grinders and homemade white sauce. A grinder starts at $5 until you start adding toppings and a container of white sauce will cost you up to $4 depending on how much you want.

  1. Urban Stampede

You may find yourself in need of some time away from campus, so a great spot to unwind is Urban Stampede. It is a small coffee shop that also sells sandwiches, pastries, and bagels. It is a dim-lit, quiet space that has a unique feel on the inside with its rustic seating. There is a bookshelf full of old books and board games that are available to any customer. The books kind of range just because anyone can drop them off, but Boggle is always a favorite game to play since it is easy to play in a quiet space. It is also the perfect spot if you just want to have some time alone with your studies or computer as they have free Wi-Fi. The menu has many things like Italian sodas, hot chocolate and of course coffee that you can all get for under $5.

  1. River Cinema 15

UND and River Cinema movie theater have a special program that allows students to obtain free movie tickets on various Fridays throughout the semester. There is bound to be at least one movie that you would like to see since it houses 15 showing rooms, and you cannot really complain about free movie tickets.

Ella Cordell, UND sophomore Communications and Entrepreneurship major, says she loves the free ticket to River Cinema and that she goes every time. She says, “it’s nice because you see a lot of familiar faces from campus, and it is a great alternative if you are not into tight, sweaty parties.”

Tickets for movie night at River Cinema can be picked up at the Student Involvement Office with student ID a week prior to the movie showing. River Cinema is your average theater with huge movie posters covering the walls and cutouts of famous actors and actresses scattered around.

  1. O For Heaven’s Cakes

If you have a bit of a sweet tooth and are in need of some comfort food, then head on over to O For Heaven’s Cakes for a study snack.

Jessica Verhey, UND freshman Wildlife Biology major, noted that she knew she loved UND after she tried O For Heaven’s Cakes. She says that the best thing to get there is the “fantastic” dirt cake cupcake topped with gummy worms.

Being able to just order one cupcake at this bakery makes it a great stop for dessert. It has a certain “grandma’s kitchen” feel because of the decorations on the walls that may remind you of your own grandma’s kitchen. You could stop at O For Heaven’s Cakes and spend no more than $2 on a cupcake or a T-shirt cookie.

Now that you have visited the Ralph Engelstad Arena, ate at Red Pepper, hung out at Urban Stampede, gone to a movie at River Cinema and tried a dessert at O For Heaven’s Cakes, you can make an educated decision on whether or not you would like it here at UND.