Open House festivities draw thousands to campus

UCSD hosted a campuswide open house Saturday to mark the end of its 40th anniversary and celebrate homecoming for alumni.

Scott Thomas

An estimated 15,000 people attended the event, which ran from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and offered an array of free family activities, tours, educational demonstrations, entertainment, vendors and sporting events.

The purpose of the event was “”to highlight and showcase to the community and the many programs going on at UCSD,”” said Judy Lane of Special Events and Protocol, a co-chair of the event.

Lane, along with co-chairs Mark Cunningham of Housing and Dining Services and Yolanda Leyva of Student Affairs, have been planning the UCSD Open House, the first in 11 years, since May with the assistance of a 65-member UCSD staff committee and hundreds of volunteers.

Anna MacMurdo

Open House was designed to present fun, as well as educational aspects of UCSD.

“”We wanted it to be a fun day to show UCSD’s diversity,”” Cunningham said.

The day began with campus tours for prospective students and seminars about housing, financial aid and admissions.

After touring the campus and attending seminars, high school student Jamie Wendell said she enjoyed the chance to see the campus and learn more about the university.

“”It was really cool. [The campus] is really pretty and we like that,”” Wendell said.

Faculty members gave talks on subjects ranging from music to politics. Communication professor Daniel Hallin spoke on “”Patriotism and Professionalism: The Media and War.”” Ethnic Studies professor George Lipsitz presented a talk on the effects of migration, globalization and discrimination in the United States.

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography offered a series of family activities and entertainment as well. Scripps scientists conducted an instructional surf clinic and explained the science of surfing. Visitors learned the art of fish painting and watched Irish dancers and a nautical musical group.

Open House featured an “”Oktoberfest”” beer garden sponsored by Karl Strauss with German food and polka dancers. Musical acts such as San Diego’s own Mar Dels and award-winning Agent 22 performed at the event.

A range of entertainment from both UCSD students and community groups was offered throughout the day.

The Price Center served as “”a showcase for student organizations and UCSD students with incredible talent,”” said student organizations officer Lauren Weiner.

Children of all ages were able to participate in the all-campus function. Among the many activities available, children enjoyed llama rides, face painting and magicians.

“”I liked going on the Moon Bounce,”” said 4-year-old Jacob Baizer .

UCSD student organizations and departments had booths lined up along Library Walk for Open House. The UCSD School of Medicine offered free health information, assessments and therapeutic massages.

Various UCSD departments had booths set up with information on programs and opportunities for study at the university.

Other student organizations promoted their groups and upcoming events. Alpha Kappa Delta Phi used Open House as an opportunity to generate awareness for breast cancer and their upcoming “”Breast Fest.””

“”We wanted to get the word out about our upcoming event so people can become educated about breast cancer and other women’s issues,”” said Claudia Lam .

Tim Pence, one of the White Tiger Kung Fu performers, said UCSD Open House “”gave us a good chance to promote our club and demonstrate a series of White Tiger Kung Fu forms.””

Open House also served as UCSD’s homecoming. UCSD alumni visited a beer garden on RIMAC Field hosted by the Alumni Association, while the Athletic Department held homecoming games throughout the day.

Danielle Jacobs, a 1986 graduate from Muir College said, “”Walking around brings back lots of memories. It feels much more like a major university now.””

Not everyone on campus participated in the festivities — some students kept their noses tucked in books as event-goers milled by.

“”I’m not really interested and I’ve got midterms,”” said Revelle junior Camille Katigbak.

The event was considered a success by those who planned it.

“”We just wanted an opportunity to give back to the community,”” Leyva said. “”We’re proud to be UCSD.””

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