The sun beat down on the students crowding the Lory Student Center Plaza at Centertainment on Wednesday.
Centertainment is one of CSU’s long-standing traditions, said Pam Sampson, assistant director for Campus Activities and the coordinator of the event.
Tables lined the Plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and even spilled over onto some of the surrounding lawns. Of the 120 groups represented, almost all were student organizations, although a few offices that are student-focused, such as Student Legal Services, also set up a booth, Sampson said.
“It’s pretty cool. It gives everyone a chance to know what’s out here,” said Stuart Griffin, a junior natural resources recreation and tourism major.
Centertainment was aimed to be particularly helpful for students new to CSU.
“(It’s important to) get them in positive environments, whether social, religious political or whatever,” Sampson said. “Certainly I think that students spend more time outside the classroom than in it. Events like this show new students, transfer students, that this is the thing to do.”
After attending Centertainment, Chris Jensen, a freshman open-option major, certainly does not plan to sit around.
“I’m definitely interested in theater and maybe something else,” he said. “Just being able to see what all there is in one spot (is great). I’m just seeing what there is and maybe (I’ll) investigate more later.”
Highlights of the day for other students included free giveaways by many organizations.
“We’ve just been kind of touring around the whole place, seeing who has the best free stuff to offer,” said Fredlina Solano, a senior speech communications major. “United Campus Ministry (was my favorite) because they gave us a cup of candy and they didn’t make us sign anything.”
In addition to having tables, several organizations also provided entertainment throughout the day. Entertainment included Hawaiian dance, hip-hop, swing dancing, singing by the CSU Idol and even jousting sponsored by the Medieval Society, Sampson said.
The jousters were in full costume, despite temperatures reaching as high as 86 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Yahoo! weather Web site, www.weather.yahoo.com.
“I was a little worried that someone might faint,” Sampson said. She said fortunately no one did.
Students were complaining about the heat, too.
“It’s just hot,” said Krysta Hannah, a sophomore open-option major.
More shade would have been really nice, she said.
Some students sought cold refreshments from the booth sponsored by the Reformed University Fellowship, one of the many campus ministries represented at Centertainment.
“(We’re out here) to be a part of the university community,” said Rev. Kyle Parker, campus minister for RUF. “One of our core convictions is that Christianity is inclusive. This is just one small way that we can be a part of the university community as a whole.”
With the many diverse groups out on the Plaza, there was certainly something for everyone.
“I didn’t know there was underwater hockey. I didn’t even know you could play hockey under water,” said Natalie Ashe, a sophomore open-option major.
The Underwater Hockey Club gets this response frequently, said Jorge Filevich, a graduate student studying physics and the club’s founder and treasurer.
“A lot of people we’ve dealt with say, ‘I didn’t know that existed,’ and we’ve been here for three years,” he said.
Logging Sports member John Cochran also received quite a few questions from people, he said. Cochran, a junior landscape horticulture major, has been a member of the Logging Sports Club since his freshman year and was captain last year.
CSU’s logging team, the only one in Colorado that competes, participates in events such as axe throwing and chain-sawing. Even at competitions, Cochran has found that all the teams are in it together, sharing knowledge, equipment and tips, even in the middle of a competition.
“Our biggest thing right now is just trying to get more members,” Cochran said.
The Raptor Program Advisory Club was also at Centertainment trying to recruit new members to volunteer with the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, said Rebecca Shaw, a senior zoology major and president of RPAC.
Students are essential to the program, which is run entirely by its 170 volunteers, of whom 60 percent are CSU students.
“We’ve had a pretty good turnout,” Shaw said.
Sampson echoed the same sentiment when it was all over.
“We had a lot of people come looking for organizations that weren’t actually out there,” she said. “We always encourage people to come down to our office and check out our Web site to learn about all the registered groups.”
With such huge response, the Student Organizations Office sponsors a second Centertainment in January for the past two years, held inside the Lory Student Center.
Abby Flaedderjohn, a senior technical journalism major and student coordinator of Centertainment, was very pleased with the day’s results.
“Maybe I’m just biased, but I thought it as the best event I’ve ever seen,” she said.