Fun and games brings students together at homecoming picnic

ALLISON MAZZARELLA, Staff Writer

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Despite the chilly weather, students gathered outside by the Campanile last Wednesday, Oct. 17, for this year’s homecoming picnic.

Music pumped from speakers as students enjoyed free walking tacos, cookies and beverages while also participating in activities, while draped in purple and gold beads and magnets that were handed out at the event. A rock-climbing wall was set up, as well as an airbrush tattoo booth and an inflatable bungee run.

The Riverview Center for Sexual and Domestic Violence Help and Student Wellness were also present at the picnic, offering information and handouts.

Jill Chelesvig, the general manager of catering, worked alongside the Campus Activities Board to put the picnic together.

Planning for the event began last spring, with the two groups collaborating to discuss plans and budgets for the picnic. From the previous years’ turnout and this year’s budget, they anticipated 3,000 attendees.

Before the picnic, caterers and volunteers wheeled food from the kitchen in the Commons, storing them in hot boxes to keep it at the appropriate temperature.

“We show up about nine o’clock,” Chelesvig said, “and start setting up, wheeling everything out here, and getting everything ready to go so that we’re ready to start serving at eleven.”

The homecoming committee also reached out to groups on campus, looking for volunteers for the event to help serve and set up.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers that come help and support [us],” Chelesvig said. “That allows us to get as much bang for the buck.”

Lydia Butters, a freshman math education major, said the event was a good way to meet people.

“Today’s event is really fun,” Butters said. “I feel like everyone has more excitement this week.”

Butters said the homecoming event she was most excited for was the game on Saturday.

Spirits were high as students took a break from classes and studying to enjoy free food with friends.

“I think it’s fun for college kids to be able to do stuff like this,” said Macie Meeks, a freshman psychology major. “It’s a way of relaxing and [a way to help] transition if you’re a freshman, or even just taking a break from midterms. It’s fun to act like kids again.”

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