SGA finalizing preparations for Springfest

By Chrissy Dill, Staff writer

The Student Government Association’s Springfest Committee has announced the Springfest 2011 theme: Mudieval Times.

Springfest 2011 will be held April 3-7 with new activities as well as classic favorites.

Senators Jerreck McWilliams and Heather Hartline serve as the Springfest Committee’s co-chairs. With the help of the student senate, they are responsible for planning and coordinating the event.

The idea of Mudieval Times was brought to the Springfest Committee through one of SGA’s Free Speech Walls, addressing students’ opinions of a Springfest theme. “Someone put ‘medieval’ and we got it from that,” explained Hartline.

According to the co-chairs, any student who pays student fees is eligible to form a team to participate in Springfest. The team must be composed of at least six members, 30 percent being of the opposite sex.

Several new aspects will be introduced with Springfest 2011. In the past, every group member had to be present at every activity throughout the week in order to win Sweepstakes, in which the winner is determined by group participation in the activities.

According to McWilliams and Hartline, every group member will have to be present only at opening ceremonies, Coffee with the President, the educational event and closing ceremonies.

The other events require only a specific number of members, meaning it is not mandatory that every team member be present at every non-sweepstakes event.

“This way they can work together as a team,” said Hartline.

The winning group of Sweepstakes receives the Springfest traveling trophy.

A possible challenge presented to students in this year’s Springfest is new competition in the form of faculty members. According to McWilliams and Hartline, students must now compete with faculty to claim the title of Springfest Champion, and faculty members are invited to form teams and compete with students. “We’re really hoping to get a lot of faculty participation,” said Hartline.

“Usual participation is between 100 and 500 students,” said McWilliams. According to McWilliams, at one time most of the campus of SE was involved with Springfest, with up to 500 to 600 participants. “We really want to boost our numbers,” he added.

A bonus of this year’s Springfest, according to Hartline, is the possibility of receiving door prizes as rewards for participation. “We’re looking at a lot of give-a-ways,” she said.

The co-chairs plan to collect gift cards from local businesses to give to students as prizes. “It’s an incentive to get people to come to the events,” said Hartline.

According to the co-chairs, new activities planned to take place during Mudieval Times include Mud Jousting, Medieval Moat Relay, Ye Old Earth Orbe, Mr. and Ms. SE Body and Satchel of Mystery.

Mr. and Ms. SE Body and Ye Old Earth Orbe are “new renditions” of games played in the past at Springfest, said McWilliams. “They’re from a couple of years ago, but we’re bringing them back this year,” he added.

Ye Old Earth Orbe is sumo wrestling at its finest, according to McWilliams and Hartline. This activity involves a “giant, inflatable ball in between you and your opponent,” said Hartline.

“We’re still not sure about Mud Jousting,” said McWilliams, describing the activity as “one-on-one combat” that “will take place between rival jousting knights on the back of a mighty steed in a pit of mud.” They haven’t fully tested the activity yet, he said, but “for now, we’re planning on doing it.”

With the newly added activities of Springfest 2011 return the favorites: Mud Volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, the obstacle course and a “relatively new tradition,” according to McWilliams and Hartline, Splatterbeat.

This will be Splatterbeat’s third year at SE, according to McWilliams. McWilliams described Splatterbeat as “basically a school-sponsored rave” in which students “drum on trash cans filled with paint” and “rave on the dance floor.”

According to McWilliams, this activity has been a big success with students in the past.

When asked what seems to be the favorite of all Springfest activities, McWilliams and Hartline replied without hesitation, “Mud Volleyball.” Ultimate Frisbee is really popular, they added, but the favorite activity stands.

“It’s the same every year,” said McWilliams.

Last year, the obstacle course also proved to be a popular activity, according to McWilliams. “We bought a swimming pool, a Slip-N-Slide and 500 pounds of corn starch” last year, he said.

“All of Springfest has been a team effort this year,” said McWilliams. SGA has put much work and effort into making this year’s Springfest a wonderful time for students and faculty.

“A lot of the new senators have really taken initiative,” commented McWilliams. “This year, including the ones who were elected this semester,
(the senators) have done an outstanding job.”

“All senate meetings abide by the Open Meetings Act,” said McWilliams, which means all students are welcome to attend Springfest Committee meetings. “Any student can be involved,” added Hartline.

SGA consists of several committees, explained McWilliams. The Springfest Committee is seasonal as is the Homecoming Committee that meets in the fall.