Warm wishes with Winter Welcome


Lucy Lopez, Culture Editor

Aren’t blistering windy walks around campus enough of a welcome back? SUNY Buffalo State’s Student Life office thinks differently.

This semester’s Winter Welcome got Bengals back into the swing of things with two weeks full of activities. These two weeks of welcoming back students have been a part of the spring semester for almost ten years.

Kristin Catalano, assistant director of Greek life and student activities, said the Student Life office really looks for student feedback when planning the events.

“I use a template while planning but I also use student opinion. I’m constantly coming up with ideas and bouncing off the students to see what they want,” she said.

“But the snowman building contest has been a staple since the dawn of time.”

It’s not your traditional snowman building though. Student organizations are given a gallon bag full of marshmallows and different kinds of candy to build their snowman. The prize is programming money or collaboration money with Student Life. Similar to the banner competition during homecoming week, organizations decorate their snowman with their colors and themes of their group.

This year, a psychic fair was a new addition to Winter Welcome. In the past it has been a part of Union Bash or Relaxation Week, with lines going out the door. Senior public relations major Mikala Phillips visited one of the two psychics and got a tarot reading for the first time.

“It was an amazing experience for my first reading ever. I was fascinated how my tarot card reading matched with my horoscope for the year and all she knew was my name,” Phillips said.

The carnival of clubs is a featured event the United Students Government, or USG, and Student Life have teamed up on. Coming up Friday, Feb. 6 at 5:30p.m. in the Sports Arena, participating organizations will be tabling and recruiting new members.

Catalano gave some advice on how transfers can avoid feeling overwhelmed if they are unsure of which club or organization they want to join. “Know yourself first and foremost, and what your likes are. Then check Bengal Connect. You don’t have to visit every table, but do the research in advanced,” she said.

Another event students can look forward to is Buffalo Bubble Soccer, happening on Feb. 9 in Houston Gym from 4-9 p.m. The idea of it is that players are in a hamster-like bubble, but their legs are sticking out. That way they can still physically play soccer, but they bounce off each other and the walls. It’s like the bumper cars of sports.

Getting into the swing of things after over a month of winter vacation is not always the easiest transition. In the fall, there is the change of seasons and football starts up, a much different dynamic is presented when you’re returning to a snow-covered campus. Winter Welcome presents a way to get back into mingling and helps to kick-start the spring semester.

“Don’t be afraid to join in on the free fun!” Catalano said.


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