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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media


The annual “Fest-of-Us” was held last week. It was one way to welcome students to the 2004 academic year. Chancellor J. Keith Motley, along with staff and students, came up with several ideas for this year’s event, and followed up with a survey that was done at the Wit’s End Café that narrowed down the choices for activities, according to Student Life’s Linda Smith-Mooney.

Joyce Morgan, director of Student Life said of speaker Dana-Farber Cancer Institute President Edward J. Benz, Jr, “I thought it was great. There was a good crowd for the convocation speaker [Benz],” adding, “I think the ‘Ticket To Your Dreams’ went really well.”

The day-long event started at noon (ish) on the plaza. Hot dogs, barbeque chicken, and veggie burgers were served, as well as fruit, cookies and beverages. Many students gathered around the plaza to enjoy their food and music by student musicians John Cotton, the Auto Main Frame band, and Toussaint and the China Band. The Asian Center sponsored a colorful rendition of the lion dance and a martial arts presentation.

Thirty UMass community information tables lined the plaza, like the Health Center, Beacon Fitness Center, WUMB radio station, College of Management, Marine Operations, and the Nantucket Field Station. There was a good cross section because students usually don’t get to know all the offices and departments the first week of classes, said Morgan.

Besides providing information and free goodies, students who were interested in the “Ticket to Your Dream” raffle, had to get a stamp from each table in order to participate. The raffle prizes included a free tuition (up to $800 for the spring semester), bookstore gift certificates, sailing lessons, and free parking passes. According to Student Affairs, the winner of the free tuition is Priyanka Chawla, a graduate student.

At 3 p.m., the new Campus Center lawn was filled with activities and more music for students to enjoy. Games such as laser tag, bungee run and horseshoes were around the lawn, and a table for temporary tattoos was also set up. Students seemed entertained listening to the music, as well as playing volleyball and soccer around the lawn. “People can play on the green area,” Morgan noted. Morgan recalled hearing a student on her cell phone saying it was good to see people on the green space for a change, instead of in and out of classes.

Later in the afternoon, the African Hut Club had the crowd moving to the beats of their “sexy chocolate” dance, according to one of the dancers.The pizza, provided by the Wits End Café, ran out in the first five minutes of its arrival. Music filled the new entrance of our campus until seven with the participation of several more bands such as Helena 5, The Electric Collective, September Twilight, The Pick Ups, and Down Under; as well as DJ Hallesy, who also entertained during the evening hours.

Administrators and some students believed that Fest-of-Us appeared to be a great way to start the semester, to have one last opportunity to relax and have fun before students bury themselves in books for the next couple of months.

“It was fairly well attended, not as well as last year’s,” said Pat MacNeil of Student Affairs. “But we did reach our goal, which was the opportunity for students to know more about the different offices, services, and centers on campus.”