Students participated in a variety of events around campus last week to show their school pride as the fall season gets underway.
Fall Fest kicked off with I Heart STJ at the Taffner Field House on Oct. 11. Activities included foosball, bubble hockey, ping pong, and Twister on a giant inflatable mat, along with American Gladiators-style jousting. When taking a break from the games, students could jump into a photo booth or be entertained by the magicians and plate spinners roaming the crowd.
“The goal is to bring commuters and residents together,” said Senior Khiara Perez, president of the Student Programming Board, which organized the event.
“I’m trying to go to as many events like this as I can. My old school didn’t have anything like this,” said Diana Hayden, a junior who recently transferred to the University.
According to members of SPB, 1,500 t-shirts were given away within the first 90 minutes of the event.
“We always know we do well when we run out of free stuff,” said Melody Howard, a senior and vice president of SPB.
Later that night, Taffner kept everything I Heart STJ had to offer and added mini golf, a bouncing castle, carnival and arcade games and tarot card readings for the Twilight Carnival. Authentic carnival refreshments like cotton candy, snow cones and hot dogs were served and a line for custom spray t-shirts spanned the entire length of the building.
“I had a lot of fun,” said sophomore Cynthia Carranza. “It’s a nice break from midterms.”
While it was a night of carnival festivities for all who participated, frustrations were expressed by students who were not able to make it in to the event.
“We waited in line for 30 minutes, then the security guard closed the doors, told us they were at full capacity and that we had to leave,” said freshman Justine Fosco. “Why have an event like this if they don’t let enough people in? I’m paying to go here.”
Sophomore Valentina Dargam was also among the students who were turned away that night. “Why can’t they let more people in as people leave?” Dargam said. “It’s simple addition and subtraction.”
Jennifer Panzarella, associate director of Campus Activities said that the early door closing was for students’ protection.
“It’s disappointing that students missed out, but at the end of the day it’s a safety risk,” Panzarella said. “It was a great turnout. We had 500 kids in the first hour. Unfortunately we had to turn away 200.”
Fall Fest continued on Oct. 12 when NYC food truck Wafels and Dinges came to campus to serve free waffles with toppings. Hundreds of students came out, many of them braving the rain by standing in line with their umbrellas.
“I’m so happy!” said Grace Shim, a senior, after receiving her waffle.
On Oct. 13, Residence Life held a talent show that nearly filled the Marillac Auditorium with spectators. The competition featured over 20 students displaying talents in singing, rapping, dancing, beat boxing, poetry and even a harmonica performance, with prizes being raffled off between the acts.
Lawrence Usen Isong was awarded the $75 third place prize for his rendition of John Legend’s “Ordinary People.”
“Lawrence was great. He’s number one!” said Moriah Camp, a junior.
In the end, the winner was sophomore Shanna Gikonyo. She sang “Someone Like You” by Adele. Second place went to beat boxing group Dong Kyon for their comical beat boxing battle between members of the troupe.
Fall Fest concluded on Oct. 14 with the Red Storm Tip-Off event at Carnesecca Arena to support the anticipated men’s and women’s basketball seasons.
Students competed in contests and scrimmages while enjoying performances and free food.