Spring Fest provides stress relief to students


Photo by: Rebekah Davis

Students gathered in the Smith University Center Commons to relieve stress during the 2017 Spring Fest.

Arts International was held Bursts of laughter could be heard from outside the Smith University Center (UC) as students crowded inside to eat cotton candy and play vintage arcade games at the annual Spring Fest.

The University Programming Board (UPB) and the NAACP co-sponsored the event to bring students together to relax before the end-of-the-semester push. Some years the Spring Fest has been on the UC lawn, but this year it was inside the UC.

“It’s a tradition here at Francis Marion,” Jolethia Robinson, executive chair, said. “The students love it. It’s probably one of the biggest events after the hypnotist show. It’s just to bring unity, to bring diversity, for fun to get out of classes. You just want to not think about school at the moment.”

Senior psychology major Justin Scott, who is over the criminal justice board of NAACP, said working with the UPB is important to promote cross-campus collaboration.

“It’s good to have this unity within different organizations so we can plan and work together for different events in the future,” Scott said.

Scott said the event is held every year around final exams to help students relax.

“It gives them a break and gets them to come out, have fun, just to enjoy themselves before final exams get in,” Scott said.

The NAACP’s mission is to promote unity, and Scott said this event is key to helping them complete that mission.

“Our mission is unity within different cultures, people and organizations,” Scott said. “This event that we’re collaborating with UPB shows that we are willing to do that – to be unified with different organizations on campus.”

Similar to the NAACP’s mission of unity, a large component of the UPB’s mission is diversity.

“It’s just what we brought here,” Robinson said. “It wasn’t just based on one ethnicity or something. It’s something that everyone can be a part of. Pacman – that’s a game that everybody loves to play. If it’s something that everybody can go to, you don’t have to say ‘This is just for this group.’ You go, and you have fun.”

Sophomore business major Diona Jamison came because she was curious what Spring Fest was.

“Finals are coming up, and we all need time to really have fun with friends or just to come out an enjoy it,” Jamison said.

With cotton candy or nachos in hand and an air hockey puck in the other, students competed against each other in games that most of them grew up playing. Junior Romanski David and senior Krumal Patel, both computer science majors, said they don’t usually come to the UC to hang out because they’re commuter students.

“Usually I just come to my classes and go home and don’t hang around at the college,” Patel said. “He told me about this and I just said ‘Why not check it out?’”

David said Spring Fest was a nice change.

“We’ve got a lot of tests coming up, so this is just a break from it,” David said.

Sophomore middle level English and history major Dakota Goff said he enjoyed playing the older games. Goff played an air hockey game against Timothy Cudjoe. Goff said he thought the event helped bring students together from all over campus.