Date Posted: September 23, 2011
Print Edition: September 21, 2011
The green at UFV was pulsating with music on the first Thursday of SUS’s Weeks of Welcome. Local bands, including Harma White, Fanaticus and the hip hop artist Transit took the stage, along with two of UFV’s student clubs, the Bhangra and Giddha dance clubs. Food was served and students could sit out on the green and listen to the music.
However, though wherever there is free food a certain number of students in the audience will automatically be present, the fact remained that the green was dotted with a sparse amount of listeners (and eaters).
This year, SUSpocalypse seemed to be a sort of replacement for past years’ ‘Disorientation,’ or Dis-O. In the past, there have been questions regarding Dis-O, about the amount taken from the SUS budget to fund an event which hasn’t attracted a particularly large number of students.
Carlos Vidal, president of the SUS explained that rather than being a replacement, SUSpocalypse is an adjustment of Dis-O. “Traditionally it’s just been this one big event, with music and bands and food, and it’s been a lot of fun, but sometimes we get feedback from students saying they’d like to start seeing some more things, not just one event, for students who maybe aren’t into that. So we took the opportunity to change it to something called the Weeks of Welcome (WoW), where we’ve spread out to a whole bunch of different activities”
The SUS WoW involves a variety of activities, from the usual welcome back event, to the UFV tailgate party and basketball games, outdoor movie night, and the campus scavenger hunt.
“We are trying to appeal to a larger number of students,” Vidal continued, “[in the past] the cost was heavily just on that one event, but now we’re trying to spread out the funds on these different events.”
Within the SUS’s attempt to reach a greater number of students, they’ve put on more events on the Chilliwack campus. The scavenger hunt (version two), magic show, band night and comedy night are held in Chilliwack.
As far as SUSpocalypse went, though turnout could have been better, the saved funds went to other events which drew – and will draw – more students. It is a good idea to have a variety of events at different times; we’ve always known that party people don’t seem to make up the majority of UFV students (though we all pretend we are, lets be honest). Some people would just rather have scarily competitive scavenger hunts. Working in The Cascade office at the time, I witnessed some intense bribery for certain items on the list.
Vidal was pleased with the change. “It’s a good thing. Students are able to find the things that they’ll be able to enjoy; if we had just this one big event and we’re throwing all of our budget into that one event.”
The students who did attend SUSpocalypse seemed to enjoy the event. It was nice to sit out on the green and get a taste of local music, as well as watch some UFV groups perform. The chili (which was not, of course, the reason I attended) was pretty good.
“We have a huge demographic of students here, all ages,” Vidal said, “students who have families and kids who’d maybe rather go to the smaller events, the family night or the movie on the green, so I think in that way it’s been a positive change. Our main goal is to try to appeal to everyone.”
The welcome weeks add a more dynamic feel and active atmosphere at UFV; the turnout to all the events replacing Dis-O is surely more than last year’s Dis-O itself. Hopefully these Weeks of Welcome will alter and shift according to the response of UFV students and the attendance of these various events. But for now the SUS is certainly on the right track.