Cotton candy, popcorn, basketball, slides, darts, free stuffed animals and pie eating contests. Images from our childhood that can only mean one thing. The All American Carnival.
That was the image Student Programming Board tried to conjure up for this years Spring Fling last Friday. The hamburgers, hot dogs, and free childhood games all added to this year’s theme of The All American Carnival, which was chosen with the past years events close in mind.
“We are doing this for 9-11,” said Christine Kassatly, Student Programming Board president. “All of our funds will go to the 9-11 Fund, as well as the ‘Make A Wish Foundation’.”
In order to project this year’s theme, Student Programming Board gave away American flag hats, sold t-shirts with red, white, and blue colors, and adorned the University Center parking lot with hay and bar-be-ques.
“Everything is red, white and blue,” said Kassatly. “Our giveaways are good old-fashioned American jacks and pick-up sticks; we are doing pie-eating contests and kiss the pig contests. You can’t get any more American than that.”
Perhaps the biggest change at Spring Fling this year was the absence of alcohol. In previous years Spring Fling has featured a roped off area where students with proper identification were able to purchase and consume beer. This year, however, with the enforcement of the dry campus ruling, was the first time that Student Programming Board was not permitted to sell alcohol.
“There’s been controversy throughout the year with the whole beer issue,” said Kassatly. “And with the dry campus, they kind of banned it. St. John’s University is trying to do away with alcohol on the campus.”
Many students were not affected by the lack of alcohol. Attendance was maintained at the same level it has been during previous years, and many students come simply because its one of the only events throughout the year that so many students attend.
“My favorite part is the people,” said Jaci Sinkewizz, a freshman physician’s assistant major. “The fact that there’s so much school spirit. I mean, they all showed up and came to be with each other.”
Along with the pie eating and the pig kissing contests, Spring Fling also had a number of free carnival games, including darts, basketball shoot-outs, rock climbing, ball tosses, and a basketball dunk competition. All of the games also came with free prizes.
Many students liked the inexpensive cover charge and enjoyed all the free giveaways. The fact that the event has been well received in the past has helped it become so big presently.
“I was told by my friends who had come last year that it’s one of the greatest events at St. Johns, so I figured I’d take a look,” said Christopher Coes, a freshman government and politics major. “Plus it’s only a dollar, and it’s going to a good cause.”
In spite of the changes this year, many students hope the event continues into the future. “I’m coming back next year, of course, because I know if it was this good this year, its probably going to be better next year,” said Coes. In order to improve the event, he prescribes reaching out more to the dorm students.
“I would advertise it more, especially to the residents. And definitely keeping the costs down, because keeping everything free is good.”