Buck Fridays carnival is a huge hit, students say

More than 1,100 students and staff attended last Friday night’s “Monsters University” carnival on commons lawn. The event featured popular music, dancing, carnival games and discounted food.

Many students gave the event favorable reviews.

“It’s awesome getting to meet new people and see what the school does for fun,” said Michael Hsu, a freshman. “Look at all the people here; people means success.”

In the midst of orientation season, the carnival, which usually attracts on-campus freshmen and sophomores, was also heavily attended by upperclassmen such as Carrie Ott, a junior.

Ott was impressed by the amount of people who showed up.

“Any event that can get a fourth of campus to show up is pretty good,” said Ott.

John Britton, head of Buck Fridays, said the program’s main objective is to connect Calvin students with each other. Buck Fridays’ next event, the Art Prize Scavenger Hunt, will try to connect students with Grand Rapids.

“Our goal is to be fun and interactive,” Britton said.

The carnival was themed after “Monsters University” to coincide with the showing of the movie the night afterward. Students loved the theme and thought it was a fitting choice.

“What’s better than being in touch with your inner child at the college level, right?” said Rebekah Kreischer, a fifth-year senior.

“It’s really cute and creative,” said Julia Lee, a sophomore. “I wish people would dress up for it and we could give prizes for the best ones.”

The carnival featured new attractions which were especially big hits.

One of the most popular features was the fire spinner. Kevin Higby, who has been spinning since he was a boy, was hired by the Student Activities Office to do fire spinning routines a few times every hour. The routine included spinning a bar which was on fire on both ends, as well as blowing fireballs from his mouth.

Students preferred the DJ and light shows to the student bands of the past, saying that it’s easier for everyone to dance to popular music than original songs.

A large projection screen near the dance floor showed scenes of the crowd, clips from “Monsters University” and live video from a photo booth which had been set up so students could interact with the camera and the crowd.

The live video feed became like a stage and let people be more interactive with the event. Students used it to show off their dance moves, embarrass their friends and do comedic stunts.

Many people and groups were involved in putting on the carnival.

“It takes a lot of people to run this,” Britton said, adding that the event was staffed by more than 60 volunteers, 30 of which were orientation leaders.

Student organizations also played a part in the festivities. Britton said Buck Fridays invited student clubs to run a table or an event.  The martial arts club, the gender equality club, Dialogue, student senate and the multicultural student development office were all present.

Students mentioned that the size of the crowd did put somewhat of a damper on the event.

“I think the lines are a little long,” said Kreischer, “but that’s to be expected with how many students we have. Plus we’d rather dance!”