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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Stony Brook Kicks Off Wolfstock 2009

Students gathered in the SAC Plaza Wednesday afternoon to participate in Homecoming Kickoff, an event consisting of carnival-like activities and peppy performances that marked the official start of ‘Wolfstock,’ Stony Brook’s annual homecoming celebration.

Between 12 and 3 p.m., hundreds of Stony Brook students played games like hoop toss, ran through inflatable mazes, sparred above an inflatable gladiator pit, had their caricatured by an artist and spun around in a giant gyroscope. They also received a plethora of prize and snack giveaways that included cotton candy and popcorn.

‘It was a lot of fun,’ Giovanni Williams, an 18-year old psychology major, said after getting off the gyroscope ride, in which students exercised their muscles to flip themselves around. ‘I’m going to try to get on a bunch of these other rides and get a good workout.’

The kickoff also included appearances from the marching band and cheerleading squads and introductions from candidates for Homecoming Queen and King and members of the Stony Brook football team.

On Saturday, the Seawolves will face off against the Presbyterian College Blue Hose in their first Big South Conference game of the 2009 football season.

Leading up to this match, the University will host a series of other events that make up the Wolfstock festivities, such as a Homecoming Comedy Show on Thursday, the ‘End Zone Party’ on Friday, and alumni reunions, academic showcases, a Homecoming Parade, tailgate, and after-parties on Saturday.

Many different administrative offices and student bodies collaborate to organize this programming.

‘There was input from Athletics, the Office of the Dean, Campus Residences, Student Activities and members of the Student Activities Board and Undergraduate Student Government, coordinated through the Homecoming Committee,’ Jerrold Stein, the dean of students, said. ‘This is an important event to help create a sense of community, spirit, and pride.’

According to Dean Stein, there were over 200 students involved in the production of the kickoff event, including the marching band and cheerleading squads, who performed shortly after 1 p.m. 23 student volunteers from the Student Activities Board ran the carnival games, rides, and giveaway lines.

There was some, however, confusion over which organizations were responsible for the funding of the kickoff and other Wolfstock events.

Alexandra Dugga, the Director of Student Activities said in an e-mail that the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and state funding from the Student Activities and Alumni/Advancement budgets helped pay for the event.

On the other hand, David Mazza, the vice president of Communications and Public Relations for the USG denied that USG funding had supported these events. ‘Funding for Wolfstock did not come from the Student Activity Fee,’ Mazza said.

Alina Onefater, a 20-year old psychology major and the co-president of the Homecoming Committee, said that preparation for the kickoff event began in August. She described her involvement with the kickoff planning as a great learning experience.

‘Beyond learning how to organize such a large event, it helps teach you self-confidence,’ Onefater, who served as Master of Ceremonies, said. ‘We wanted a lot of student input and participation, and I think it turned out well.’

Rob Gallager, a 19-year-old humanities major, and Josie Hubbard, a 19-year-old biology major agreed.

‘It seems much better than last year- they didn’t have any of the blow-up stuff then,’ said Hubbard, referring to the inflatable rides.

‘Since it’s the biggest event of the season, I think it’s money well spent,’ Gallagher said.

‘Wolfstock has grown tremendously from what it was when I first came onboard seven years ago,’ Dugga said.’

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