It’s not every night of the week that there’s a DJ booth set up on Gaebe Commons. Or a giant inflatable obstacle course.
Part of Welcome Week, the Providence Campus' annual Student Activities Night inaugurated the academic year in a big way, turning the normally calm quad into a colorful carnival.
As music boomed out from the DJ tent, hundreds of attendees flooded through Gaebe. Some went right for the poster sale. Others tried out pedestal jousting or the obstacle course. Almost all took advantage of the chance to comparison shop among the more than 90 student-run groups — from Ad Club to Zeta Phi Beta — set up around the quad.
Pitches at the ready, club officers came prepared with brochures, photos from past events and posters to lure in new recruits. Most upped the ante with free swag like candy, pins, tote bags and t-shirts.The Anime Club came decked out as their favorite characters, while the Ad Club transformed into “MAD Club,” a tribute to the golden age of advertising. Each Greek organization came color-coordinated in matching t-shirts. All 20 Greek organizations were out in full force, handing out flyers advertising their annual Luau and talking up the advantages of going Greek.Cultural — and multicultural — groups flourished. From Cooking Asia and the Caribbean Student Association to the Saudi and Latino American clubs (to name but a few), cultural diversity was well-represented.Anna Karnovsky, a Hospitality major from the Ukraine, worked the I-Club table. Not just for international students, the club brings domestic and foreign students together to improve their language skills and acclimate to life on campus. “It’s such a great way to meet cool people from all over the world!” Karnovsky said, and the club’s packed roster of events — including outdoor barbecues, weekly conversation hours and trips to Six Flags and Block Island — bore this out.As two members of JWU’s competitive ballroom dance team waltzed across Gaebe, April Geyer, team philanthropy chair and a third-year Baking and Pastry major, discussed the group’s plans for the upcoming year, including live performances and a JWU version of “Dancing with the Stars.” A ballet dancer since the age of four, Geyer called ballroom dance her “second passion” after cooking. “We’re one big family,” she said.