WOW KickOff Celebration
Marshall Student Center
Aug. 22, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
So. Much. Swag. Really, the amount of free stuff given away during this event was astronomical. As I walked into the Marshall Student Center, endless waves of different organization members handed me a variety of items plastered with respective logos. Sunglasses, tote bags, shirts, laundry baskets, water bottles, bandages, highlighters, pens – the list goes on. Along with free stuff came tons of information about the organizations that call the MSC home, making it a very informative and bountiful event. On top of the festivities, Student Government made an announcement. Students will finally get a deal with neighboring Bush Gardens! For only $50, get unlimited entries into the park for the entire school year.
Aug. 22, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Put on by the Office of Cultural Affairs, the Welcome Jam’s main attractions were the performances by many of the diverse originations on campus. The USF Bollywood Dance Club and the Relentless Dance Troupe executed dance numbers, while other groups showed off different talents. The crowd cheered the performers on, loving it! Though billed as an event with an “I love the 90s” theme, the background music wasn’t even from that decade. Weird. Also, they ran out of pizza 20 minutes into the event. The show entertained well enough to take minds off the missing snacks, though.
Larry Volz Comedy Hypnosis Show
Aug. 23, 7pm – 8 p.m. & 9 p.m. -10 p.m.
The Larry Volz Comedy Hypnosis show, What has become a Week of Welcome tradition, delivered fully on its promises, with hilarious hypnotisms that kept students laughing off their seats. The events (two separate showings) were very well received, accommodating a surprising student turnout of more than 600 each. The great success of the shows was founded in Volz’s charisma and sense of humor, which kept the huge student audiences involved and hypnotically entertained.
Bulls Nite Out: Playfair
Aug. 24, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.
This wasn’t your usual Bulls Nite Out. Only students decorated the event, isolated in the MSC Ballroom. But people were all that were needed for entertainment. Aimed at new students, the games played always encouraged, sometimes forced, chatter between similar newbies by grouping them together. For example, in one game, students who were born in the same month formed circles. It was an engaging event for first year students and hopefully helped foster friendships!
Burgers and Bands
Aug. 25, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The annual Burgers and Bands event did not disappoint this year, with herds of students still flooding into the event halfway through. The high student turnout was notably impressive, due to inclement weather and the event’s relocation from the Marshall Student Center Amphitheater to the MSC Ballroom. Despite the lack of actual bands (understandable due to weather conditions), the event was kept alive by a live DJ, dance routines and a ridiculous amount of food that somehow didn’t run out with the great attendance.
Late Night with Campus Rec
Aug. 28, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Campus Recreation Center
The late night event at the Campus Recreation Center provided great involvement opportunities for new and returning students, showcasing most of USF’s athletic organizations. Students at the event were kept very occupied with mini-golf, scavenger hunts, a fitness challenge and a dodgeball competition. Also present were representatives from some of USF’s more eccentric athletic organizations, promoting fencing, water polo and quidditch. All-in-all, it was a great way for students to get involved with some of USF’s very diverse athletic programs.
Aug. 30, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
USF Sun Dome
This didn’t really start at 7 p.m. The doors didn’t open and the extremely long line didn’t start moving until well after. I arrived to the Sun Dome at the appointed start time and didn’t get inside until 7:45 p.m., giving me a mere 15 minutes to explore the room inhabited by student organizations before announcements began instructing everyone to take their seats. The Herd of Thunder, USF’s marching band, played some classic USF tunes, the Sun Dolls and cheerleaders, accompanied by Rocky the Bull, riled up the crowd and President Judy Genshaft offered some encouraging words to new students. An informative, spirit-lifting pep rally to start the year, but the comedy lacked some luster until headliner Mike Epps took the stage.
Stampede the Stadium
Sept. 1, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Raymond James Stadium
USF’s official tailgate event, Stampede the Stadium, was a great way to instill Bull Pride in newer students. USF chants and traditions were practiced as students arrived in 16 Bull Runner buses from the Marshall Student Center. There was no shortage of things to do at the tailgate, from face-painting to cornhole contests, and the large student crowd devoured more than 150 Papa John’s pizzas. Of slight concern was the lack of beverages to complement the free food, but the other benefits of the tailgate outweighed that. Stampede the Stadium was a good way to get pumped for the game (Which the USF Bulls won, of course), but could have ran smoother.