Faculty, staff and student organizations gathered in the UP building to welcome students back to campus. DJRobZK kept the party jumping as students enjoyed a free lunch from the college. The chance to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet from the Student Government Association drew students to booths, where they heard about the wide range of activities on Seminole campus.
The buzz from the booths was that this was the busiest Welcome Back Bash in years. Many attributed the increase to the contest. Students came to get their Passport to Success stamped, and stayed when they found a club that interested them.
Rotaract, Women on the Way (WoW), the Veteran’s club, and the Gay, Lesbian or Whatever Club (GLoW) were among those represented at the Bash. Student Advising, Financial Aid, and the Study Abroad program were among the staff representatives. This newspaper had a booth, and covered the event live via The Sandbox Twitter.
The Sandbox staff spoke with many students during the event about subjects ranging from video games to paparazzi. Visitors included a published poet, a musician looking for a band, a computer security expert and a dual enrollment student. St. Petersburg College is famous for the diversity of its students. Young, old, men and women; they walked across the hall to be changed into superheroes through the magic of the photographer’s green screen.
The clock ticked towards one-thirty, as students rushed around the commons, and through hallways to get last minute stamps. Dawn Waechter, the student activities coordinator announced a last call for entries as the crowd huddled together. Provost Dr. James Oliver and the SGA President Manny Martinez, stood together with the entries. Dr. Oliver gave a brief speech urging students to get involved on campus, stressing how important campus activities are even after graduation day. With bated breath and a few spilled cards, the winning card was picked, and President Martinez verified that the winner was a Seminole campus student.
The winner, Shane Luttnamn was not on campus to collect his Nexus 7. Dr. Oliver related his reaction to staff members the next day. “He couldn’t believe he’d won, he told me he hadn’t won anything since middle school. He was very excited,” Oliver told them. According to the Provost, Shane told him that the contest led him to discover activities on campus that he did not know existed.
The Seminole campus Welcome Back Bash was a smashing success. Students packed the halls of the UP building and had the time of their lives. They made new friends. They ate enough food to feed an army, while the music played. Two of them have a new tablet. Most importantly, it brought students, campus services and student clubs together in a way that was unprecedented and fun. It was the perfect beginning for another exciting term on Seminole campus.