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Science associations send year out with a Big Bang

This past week went out with a Big Bang. Not the sitcom or the origination of a universe, but an end of the year event put on by three different student associations which brought students out to their event in hordes.

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By Joe Johnson (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: April 4, 2012

This past week went out with a Big Bang. Not the sitcom or the origination of a universe, but an end of the year event put on by three different student associations which brought students out to their event in hordes.

Held at AfterMath, the Big Bang was the result of the efforts of the Computer Information Systems Students Association (CISSA), Physics Students Association (PSA) and the Biology and Chemistry Students Association (BCSA) who worked in collaboration with the Student Union Society.

Last Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. AfterMath was rocking with trivia, contests, multiple bands, video games, popcorn and a warm atmosphere.

Derek Froese, an organizer from CISSA, who along with BCSA president Greg Costello, managed the night, was really happy with the result.

“We really put a big effort in the advertising and it paid off. And we weren’t sure it would, it was a bit of a gamble. But you know what, we were packed the entire night from five o’clock on. We had people leave because there was no chairs, which is a limitation of the venue, but I think it turned out really well – packed house all night.”

It was so successful that AfterMath’s capacity of 107 people was reached early on in the evening.

Lining the hallway of the building were televisions hooked up to video games Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. Melee and Rock Band. Just in front of AfterMath’s entrance were multiple computers setup for contest entry for many prizes such as a $100 gift card to ThinkGeek.com and a grand prize of a free four-credit science course.

For $10 you could buy a burger, fries and beer – which were served remarkably quickly given the number of students.

And of course there were the bands Dogwood and Dahlia, The Hairless Bares and The Stone Travelers.

Not everything went off as planned, though. Rain played a role in how some of the events were designed. While there were tents lined along the side of AfterMath which people could walk out into and housed couches, a popcorn machine, and an impressive array of creative balloon hats that did prove to be popular, the rain stopped many for venturing to the outdoor area.

“You know, rain was a big problem for us,” Froese noted.

The 130 confirmed attenders on the event’s Facebook page forced the organizers to anticipate large crowds and come up with creative solutions. “We were worried that people would have nowhere to go,” Froese continued, “so what we did was built this outdoor thing with the tents and couches and all that. We put a fair amount of effort into that, but just because it was raining even though we had it here, no one really used it.”

Aside from the minor and uncontrollable outdoor problems, everybody appeared to have a good time. And at the end of the night, once the final contest winners were announced, the final trivia question was posed, “how much fun did you have tonight?” To which the venue erupted in cheers.

As this was the first attempt to host a Big Bang event and it was so successful, there is already movement for it to become a reoccurring tradition. According to Froese, two other organizers, Gagan Mahil and Jason Ho “were both involved in the planning as well, quite a bit, and they’ll still be here a year from now when the next event comes on. So we’re really hoping this event will carry on.”

But as great of an event as it was to send the year off for the students of different programs, it was the community aspect that was so significant.

“UFV keeps talking about community,” Mahil commented, “and now finally we’re starting to get one. It’s about time. So hopefully this keeps up, hopefully more of these happen throughout the year and it’s not just a year-end event.”

“Now that people sort of have that sense of community like ‘hey we can have a good event,’ apprehension is gone. We can make a good event.”

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