This year the University of Alaska Anchorage celebrated the beginning of the fall semester with the Campus Kick Off Carnival. The event was an opportunity for students and their families to get acquainted with the campus community and with some of UAA’s programs.
“We wanted to kick off the year with some fun social events,” said Campus Life Director Annie Route.
Route said that although the university has had welcoming events before, this year’s Campus Kick Off Carnival was exceptional because it incorporated a large-scale collaborative effort between different UAA organizations. Campus Life, Student Orientation, Residence Life and Campus Dining all worked together on the carnival.
Next was the Taste of UAA, an annual event that provides students with a chance to check out some of the different clubs, organizations and departments affiliated with the university. Tables extended from the Campus Center through the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
“Taste of UAA is always really popular,” Route said. “This year there were 55 different booths.”
While the Taste of UAA was taking place inside, the lawn east of the Campus Center was transformed into carnival central, with an inflatable obstacle course, spin art, hair dying and more.
One of the most popular attractions was the dunk tank operated by members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Contestants lined up to see if their aim was true enough to plunge a taunting student into a chilly bath.
“Its frickin’ freezing,” said volunteer Erin Mahaffey during a break from being submerged in the tank’s icy waters, “I think I might get back in there once I can feel my extremities.”
Hungry students helped themselves to hamburgers, hotdogs and chips courtesy of Campus Dining. Residence Life’s main cafeteria was closed, and students living in campus housing were encouraged to dine at the carnival.
Inside the Den, local bands Signs Point Drive and the Roman Candles served up a dose of rock for carnival goers. A clown tied balloons, juggled and unicycled for a crowd of onlookers, while Campus Life employees handed out cotton candy.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” freshman Jeremy Diehl said. “I checked out the band, and the booths and got to see what everyone had to offer.”