Festivities attract students throughout Sun God day

    Against the backdrop of a Price Center fountain filled with bubbles and a cape-wearing, beer-holding Sun God, thousands of students flocked to Price Center, Library Walk and Sun God Lawn on May 16 to take part in the daytime festivities of the Sun God festival.

    Tyler Huff

    From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., vendors and student organizations gathered under white tents ready to entertain, serve food and recruit prospective members.

    “”It’s my first year, so I’m totally blown away that UCSD could do something like this,”” said Anthony Vu, an Earl Warren College student. “”It’s awesome.””

    On Sun God Lawn, a spinning gyro seat, bounce house and bungee run added to a carnival atmosphere.

    Irreverence was a common theme in many booths.

    For one dollar, students could throw a water balloon at a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brother or launch a pie at the face of a CalPIRG member.

    “”We figured that a lot of people are annoyed with us because we bother them so much about pledging,”” said Erica Kermani, CalPIRG coordinator for hunger and homelessness. “”This is a way to get back at us.””

    Cultural food was available from many student organizations. A Korean barbecue and Chinese and Turkish food were being served, among other types of fare.

    The Kaibigang Pilipino booth advertised its food offerings with students wearing costumes resembling eggrolls, fried and fresh lumpia, and fried bananas.

    While cans of soda were sold at many booths, the Inter-College Residents’ Association served root beer from a small keg.

    “”We can’t get beer. The next best thing is root beer in a keg,”” said Theresa Vogel, ICRA national residence hall honorary chair. “”It attracts people because it is a keg.””

    Entertainment included performances from many student groups on a stage in Price Center. The Pep Band, Juggling Club, Ascension, Triton Twirl and Dance Team were among the performers.

    “”[The festival] needs to be at least a week,”” said Earl Warren College sophomore Hanan Jammal following a crowd-pleasing performance of Michael Jackson’s “”Beat It”” at the Karaoke Club booth. “”It’s the only day UCSD comes alive, right here.””

    In commemoration of the festival’s 21st year, the Associated Students sold beer glasses, shot glasses, T-shirts, pencils and temporary tattoos as souvenirs.

    While the unexpected deactivation of the Price Center fountain foiled Circle K’s plans for a rubber ducky race, the daytime Sun God festivities ran mostly as planned.

    “”Everything worked very smoothly,”” said Gabe Grossman, A.S. commissioner of programming. “”It was a lot of fun and a lot of people really enjoyed it.””

    Grossman estimated that between 6,000 and 7,000 people took part in activities during the day.

    More than 80 student organizations took the opportunity to advertise and recruit members.

    The Society for Creative Anachronism staged high-profile mock fights throughout the day between students dressed as warriors from the Middle Ages.

    Student Health Advocates challenged students to guess the number of condoms in a jar. The person with the closest guess won the assorted condoms.

    Political and religious groups did not miss the chance to increase visibility for their clubs.

    Campus Crusade for Christ operated a foot-washing station where people could sit down and enjoy a one-on-one foot washing.

    On-campus vendors also benefited from the large numbers of students attending the festival.

    At 1 p.m., the line for Round Table Pizza in Price Center stretched out the door. Supervisor Jenny Peraza estimated that the pizzeria would serve over 1,000 people before closing.

    Private security checked customers’ bags and identification before allowing people to enter Round Table. A DJ provided music on the patio.

    In addition to student organizations, vendors seized the opportunity to advertise to the campus.

    “”We’re showing our fall product line to give everyone a preview,”” said Greg Nielsen, a marketing assistant with Simple Shoes. “”We’re talking to students to see what they want.””

    While an overwhelming uniformed police presence at the event was not apparent, Community Service Officers patrolled the campus throughout the day. The festival prompted the UCSD police to beef up security. Anticipating increased incidents, UCSD Police doubled its on-duty staff. Supplemental officers came from San Diego State University, University of San Diego and the City of San Diego. Special units from the Alcohol and Beverage Control were also patrolling.

    “”Daytime was extremely busy for the force, as we were patrolling the residence halls,”” UCSD Police Sergeant Tom Morris said. “”From 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the activity slowed when the students made their way toward the concert.””

    Many students added to the spectacle of the festival by drinking alcohol before attending. Regardless, attendees appeared to enjoy the activities.

    “”Sun God is great,”” Warren freshman Arieh Katz said. “”There’s a little too much drinking, but it’s great.””

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