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Spring is here…almost…

by kellym on March 24th, 2011

Looks like all the bloggers have been a bit busy lately–I know I have.  Spring fever isn’t helping either–all this nice weather is making me want to skip class and sit outside in the sun…

Until it started snowing that is.

The weather has been so confused lately, I don’t know what to make of it.  But tepid breezes one day and frigid gusts the next is just part of living on the east coast I suppose.  Still, I was really hoping to retire my winter coat for the season–looks like I’ll have to hold off for another week or two.

One of my favorite things about the arrival of warm weather is the way the campus suddenly comes alive–students flood the academic mall on bicycles and skateboards, and the lawns are dotted with picnics, frisbee games, and students catching some rays while they study between classes.  After a winter spent hiding out indoors and scurrying from one class to another bundled in hats and scarves, it is exciting to see the campus community come together again.

In addition to sunny afternoons and flowers in bloom, springtime brings the return of some of Stony Brook’s most beloved campus events.  Every year, students look forward with eager anticipation to these annual traditions that represent the creative spirit and cultural diversity of the university.

Dating back to 1989, Roth Pond Regatta is one of Stony Brook’s most unique traditions.  Every year, campus groups, ranging from Greek organizations to residence halls to administrative offices, form teams to compete in a boat-building competition which culminates in a race across Roth Pond.  The catch?  The boats must be constructed from only cardboard, duct tape and paint, and usually, they’re large enough to hold a passenger or two.  An admiral, a vice-admiral, and an honorary commodore are chosen by the Roth Yachting Club to preside over the event, and students, faculty, and staff are all invited to compete.  The winners get trophies, but everybody gets wet!

Buckle up your life vest, the race is on!

Enthusiastic fans watch from the shore

With some cardboard and a whole lot of tape, creativity knows no bounds!

Photos by John Griffin, Stony Brook University

At monthly meeting I attended last week during campus lifetime, one student raised her hand and asked if it would be possible to hold meetings during a different time slot.  She expressed concern that meeting during campus lifetime might conflict with other important upcoming events, one specific one in particular.  “Strawberry Fest is coming soon,” she said “I can’t miss Strawberry Fest.”  Clearly, this young woman has her priorities straight.  Strawberry Fest, usually held on the last Wednesday in April, serves up a delicious menu of strawberry-themed treats along with live music, dancing and student performances in honor of Diversity Day.  It’s the perfect way to celebrate the sweetness of the season and dynamic energy of our multicultural student body.

Strawberry pizza - sweet and delicious!

Students lining up for a taste of some strawberry cake

There's no shortage of the fresh kind - strawberries galore!

Photos courtesy of Campus Dining Services

In celebration of Earth Day, SBU hosts the annual Earthstock festival to promote and support environment-friendly living.  The celebration is centered in the academic mall, with exhibits and festive displays along the main walkways, a local farmer’s market, and an afternoon of live music and dance performances.  In addition,  the university hosts lectures and presentations, a guided walk through the Ashley Schiff Preserve,  campus beautification projects, and an ice cream social.  It’s a great excuse to spend some time outdoors, learn about protecting the earth, and even get your hands on some farm-fresh Long Island produce.

Wolfie getting his Earth Day on

Fresh produce at the farmer's market

It's a rubber duck race!

Photos by John Griffin, Stony Brook University

The Shirley Strum Kenny Student Arts Festival, named after a former university president, is an annual, month-long arts festival that showcases the creativity and diverse artistic talents of the student body.  You’ll find theater and dance performances in performance spaces across the campus, films and seminars, art exhibitions, and plenty of live music.  There is a weekend dedicated to campus music with outdoor concerts in Kelly quad.  In the beginning of May, the Undergraduate Student Government, in conjunction with RockYoFaceCase, organizes BrookFest, a huge concert event held in the sports arena, featuring a series of popular musicians.  Concerts in past years have included Wale, Matt & Kim, HelloGoodbye and Keri Hilson.  I’ve got some intel that they’ll be another big name this year, but my lips are sealed!

With so much to look forward to, I suppose I can tough out another few days of winter.  But Mother Nature better get her act together–we want some sun!

<3 Kelly

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