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Groups Hold Events At Spring Weekend

Rita H. Lin - The Tech

By Jennifer Lane
Contributing Editor

Blue skies and temperatures in the 60s this weekend lured students outdoors to participate in Spring Weekend events, which both entertained students and raised money for various charities.

The first official Spring Weekend event was Friday's day-long International Fair on Kresge Oval [see story, page 11]. That evening, the 24-Hour Coffee House featured Jazz with Pedro Verdugo and Friends.

Also that evening, the Women's Independent Living Group sponsored their annual Mr. Spring Weekend Competition in Lobdell Food Court. Contestants squared off in a talent show, a "non-conformal" wear competition, a question-and-answer session, and a competition to see who could raise the most funds for charity.

At the end of the evening, Jonas M. Arcelona '00, who played an Alice in Chains song on the guitar for his talent display, was declared the winner.

"I won because Ihad the most people supporting me," Arcelona said. "Really, anyone there could have been Mr. Spring Weekend."

Arcelona won $150 in gift certificates to The Coop.

"It went pretty well, and it had some of the usual chaos," said Mary C. Obelnicki '98, president of WILG. The event raised more than $400 for the Boston Rape Crisis Center, and approximately 70 people attended the contest, she said.

APO Spring Carnival returns

Saturday marked the revival of Alpha Phi Omega's Spring Carnival, which had been dormant for about 20 years. Thanks to their efforts as well as those of the Campus Activities Complex and the Undergraduate Association, a collection of rides were riddled across Kresge Oval.

Students could pay 50 cents to jump on the Velcro wall, bounce in the air-filled monkey cage, take a bungee run, or wallow in a tank of plastic balls.

Hopefully, in the future, number of students attending will increase, said Ted E. Johnson, assistant director of programs for the Campus Activities Complex. "It takes about three years to build a tradition. This was the first year," Johnson said.

APO was pleased with the outcome of the event, especially considering this was the first year, said Oscar A. Rodriquez '99, who organized the event. This year's carnival "represented a year-and-a-half's worth of work," he said.

Alpha Chi Omega sold snow cones, the Muses sponsored a game of Blinko, and La Unin Chicana por Aztlnplayed La Lotterie with passers-by.

All these events plus Alpha Phi's annual Alpha Phlea Market, which reined in the most onlookers, composed the carnival.

Phlea Market excels this year

The Phlea Market raised $3,220 this year. Roughly half of this sum will go to the Alpha Phi Foundation, which supports cardiac care research, said event organizer Christine M. Hartmann '98. The other half will be donated to Rosie's Place, a local battered women's shelter.

The amount of money exceeded last year's sum by $1,000, Hartmann said. Adding raffles for gift certificates and a Kaplan class, as well as the carnival and the weather, helped the Phlea Market succeed this year, she said.

Another possible effect of holding the event concurrently with the Spring Carnival was that "we felt there was a much bigger campus involvement this year. There were a lot of different types of people there," Hartmann said.

The Alpha Phi freshmen traditionally raise the single largest amount of money and did so again this year, bringing in $325 from a group of Bexley Hall residents for offering to cook and serve a barbeque party.

The largest non-Alpha Phi item was Sigma Chi's offer to host a wine-and-cheese party for a group, purchased by Melissa J. Kendall '00.

Other events round out weekend

Also during Spring Weekend, Sigma Chi held their second annual three-on-three basketball tournament.

Proceeds from the tournament went to the Children's Miracle Network Genesis Fund. The fund helps children with mental retardation and other problems to pay their medical bills, said Philip K. Kim '99, who organized the event.

This year, however, primarily because of a Black Students Union basketball tournament occurring on the same weekend, only four teams were fielded for Sigma Chi's tournament this year, Kim said.

The Battle of the Bands Finals officially concluded Spring Weekend Saturday night in Lobdell, where five bands competed.

Attendance was low this year, probably because some of the band member's fraternity houses had house parties that evening, Johnson said.

Plans underway for next year

This year, the UA Social Committee, the CAC Program Board, and APO combined with other organizations to form a Spring Weekend Committee to plan events.

Communication between groups on this committee left something to be desired, said Rita H. Lin '00, co-chair of the committee. Not all groups were able to make all the meetings, and therefore it was easy to fall out of touch, she said.

At the same time, all was not lost. The committee "worked as well as it is going to work," Johnson said, in light of the fact that there were so many groups trying to work together.

While the committee had a good idea of what events were occurring on campus, it was harder to incorporate and be aware of off-campus athletic or fraternity events, Johnson said.

This year's Spring Weekend did not include a big-name Spring Concert band as in past years when groups like Belly and Sonic Youth have played at MIT.

This was largely because of the lack of a venue for the concert, Johnson said. Originally, the Program Board had reserved Morss Hall in Walker Memorial for the concert, but since then such large parties have been banned from Walker Memorial, he said.

Additionally, the now-defunct Student Center Committee, which previously organized the event, traditionally lost over $10,000 on the concert, Johnson said.