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BU Bridge Logo

28 August 1998

Vol. II, No. 4

Feature Article

Festive fanfare for palindromic Class of 2002

by Brian Fitzgerald

"Welcome Class of 2002" reads a large sign visible from the Massachusetts Turnpike behind Nickerson Field. But this display is just a preview of the fanfare to follow for Boston University freshmen during their first week of college. On September 2, following the 10 a.m. President's Convocation, the students will be treated to a student activities fair and a gigantic barbecue on Nickerson Field.

Immediately before they take the field, each member of the Class of 2002 will be given a Gap gift bag, courtesy of the Student-Alumni Council (SAC).

A student takes a spin on the gyro-orbitron at last year's SPLASH! fair on Nickerson Field. Photo by Vernon Doucette

"Approximately 40 students, staff, and alumni volunteers will spend 10 hours the previous night and that morning stuffing more than 3,500 Gap bags with T-shirts, bottled water, soft drinks, and packaged snacks," says Keith Tavares (CAS'92), the Boston University Alumni (BUA) vice president of student and young alumni programs. The giveaway will take place in the Shed, the athletic facility at the rear of the Armory building.

"It's a good way to cultivate relationships with upperclassmen and alumni," says Tavares, who is also a member of SAC. "From day one we want to let the freshmen know we're here." The 31-member group, made up of representatives from each undergraduate school and college -- as well as students from major organizations on campus -- will also sponsor the barbecue, which will begin at noon on Nickerson Field.

Occurring simultaneously with the barbecue, SPLASH! is a festival designed to introduce freshmen not only to each other -- indeed, the annual "fresh faces" books will be distributed -- but also to life at BU outside the classroom. "It's a big welcoming fair," says Perri Shapiro, senior coordinator for programs at the Student Activities Office (SAO). "We'll be showing freshmen how to get involved in groups that are advised directly by our office."

Not to be confused with BU's Activities Expo (an introduction to BU's 350 clubs and organizations that will take place on September 16), SPLASH! is designed to acquaint students with the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students, which coordinates the programs for the SAO, the Office of Residence Life, the George Sherman Union, Orientation and Off-Campus Services, the University Resource Center, the Wellness Center, and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center, which includes Career Services, the Counseling Center, Disability Services, and Multicultural Affairs. All these organizations will be represented at the festival.

SPLASH! will include representatives from the Student Union Senate, the Student Union Programming Council, which plans BU's social, cultural, and recreational student programs, the Inter-Fraternity and Sorority Council, and the Local Students Union, the government for commuting students.

"The event will have a carnival-like atmosphere," says Shapiro. "There will be caricature artists and booths where spin-art Frisbees and photo buttons are made, and the a cappella group Ball in the House will perform." In addition, students will be able to clamber on the rotating tread wall (a practice machine for rock climbers), and literally take a spin on the gyro-orbitron. (See photo at right.) Students will also be able to sample the latest interactive technology at the Cybercafe.

"SPLASH! is designed to be fun, but also informative," says Shapiro.