Freshmen Block Party makes chilly return

Despite cross-campus advertising and a popular band, Saturday’s Freshman Block Party on the Quad drew a smaller turnout than organizers had hoped for.

“We had a smaller turnout than we would have liked,” said Mitchell Hall President Kelley Rowe said “But considering the weather, I think it was respectable.”

Organizers and students said cold weather discouraged many people from attending.

About 1,000 students attended throughout the day, but fewer than 100 stayed for jam band Strangefolk.

The Block Party returned after a two-year hiatus due to International Monetary Fund and World Bank protests in 2000 and scheduling problems last year.

Freshman Jess Jaross agreed the weather was a problem.

“There was a lot to do … but I think the cold kept a lot of people away,”
said Jaross, who spent the afternoon sumo wrestling and jumping around in an inflatable spaceship.

Some participants were irritated by what they called false advertising.

“The fact that we had to use our points to pay for food” irritated
freshman Janet Wolff. Advertisements on campus did not mention free food.

Organizers said they did not have enough funding to cover all food costs, but they were able to provide free snow cones, popcorn and cotton candy.

Event staff checked for each participant’s name on a hall roster and gave freshmen bracelets.

“The issue was that we had been getting funding (from CLLC and Freshman Services) under the stipulation that it was a freshman event,” Rowe said.

Student bands UXB, Monty’s Fan Club and Last Week performed on the Lisner Hall patio.

Strangefolk, the headliner band, played from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

By the time the band finished its set, about 70 people remained.

Some upperclassmen said they did not attend because they did not feel welcome.

“I got the impression that only freshmen were invited,” sophomore Alisha Martinez said.

The event, cosponsored by the Program Board and Student Association among others, included Bungee Running, a dunk tank, a giant inflatable spaceship for students to jump in, palm reading, caricature drawing, a fast-pitch booth and contests.

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