By Janet Curiel |Staff Writer|
The John M. Pfau Library lawn was buzzing with excitement for the Spring Carnival held on Wednesday, April 12.
The Office of Student Engagement (OSE), whom coordinated the event, also provided food, music and an upbeat atmosphere with DJ Ronnie Gibson, while over 24 clubs and organizations offered a variety of carnival-style games to start the conversation about their organizations.
Various student organizations brought their creativity and uniqueness on display; From Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. doing Henna Tattoos to the Kinesiology Student Association creating their own photo booth.
One game presented by Lubos Pilipino-American Student Organization was Tinkling, a traditional folk dance that originates from the Philippines.
The dance involves the beating, tapping and sliding of bamboo sticks on the ground, while other students attempted to step over and through the moving bamboo sticks.
“It brings a lot of attention to all the organizations, and it kind of gets them aware of the opportunities available to them,” said Rachel Lemon, at her table for Grad Days while handing out cotton candy.
One quirky game was Bra Pong presented by students from Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., who became official sisters this past fall.
“One of our National Philanthropies is actually Breast Cancer Awareness, we saw an opportunity today to come out here at the carnival and we just thought that we would provide awareness for our philanthropy while having fun and playing a game,” stated Brittany Smith.
“We put the bras on there and we provided some statistics and facts about breast cancer,” continued Smith.
The Services to Students with Disabilities (SSD) & WorkAbility IV brought a unique twist to their carnival game.
“We have the impaired ring toss. Some students on campus have glaucoma or cataracts and they’re visually impaired so we want people to come here and get a little dose of what some our students experience on a daily basis,” stated Alonso Curiel, a representative from SSD.
Some of the feedback from students was very impactful.
“I feel almost blind,” said Deja Easter when she put on the cataract glasses.
She said it’s a good experience to see as a person with glaucoma or cataracts.
“Now I understand what they go through,” said Easter, when asked if this experience inclined her to volunteer as a note taker.
Students with Disabilities & WorkAbility IV had a student whose grandmother had cataracts, and he never knew what she went through.
“He almost started crying […] He was having a conversation with us. So we are actually going to send him the picture of him with the glasses and he’s going to give it to his grandmother,” stated Curiel.
Students Myra Cortez and Glen Bates were playing the bean bag toss and picked up some free Mango lollipops with chili provided by the student organization CRU.
Cortez believes there should be more events like this in order to have better interactions between the students.
“Honestly, with this happening today, I barely met her today,” said Bates about meeting his new friend Myra Cortez.
The event had a high turnout of a few hundred students and was overall a great experience for those who participated.
One late addition was the card making table for the students, faculty, and staff of North Park Elementary, the site of the recent shooting where a man opened fire in a special education classroom, killing his wife, an 8-year-old student and then himself.
“My daughter attended that school from 4th to 6th grade. I feel connected to it, especially since I live around the corner from the school,” stated Misty Levingston, Coordinator of the OSE, who will be dropping off the written letters herself.
“It hit close to home, it’s down the street, anything to show support,” said Kathleen Montenegro on why she took the time to stop and write a card.
“To try and brighten their day,” said Nicole Ledesma about writing her card.
The SMSU Pan African Center Student Success Center & the Osher Adult Re-Entry Center (OARC) will also be continuing this effort and joined the campaign #standingwithnorthpark to let them know that CSUSB stands with those affected by the incident.
Letters can be dropped off at the Cross Cultural Center or the OARC anytime Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will be delivered on April 28 at 12 p.m. with the assistance of Associated Student Incorporated (ASI).
The San Bernardino City Unified School District shared a post of the 9-year-old student who was shot, Nolan Brandy, who is now recovering according to his parents, as seen on ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
Together, the student organizations started the conversation over the love of carnival food, games, philanthropies, fellow students and seemingly brought lasting friendships and new members to clubs and organizations.