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Funk Festival, Granian, Games Headline Event-Filled Weekend

Ajai Bharadwaj--The Tech
Gone Bowling: A member of Delta Tau Delta helps a carnival goer get a strike Saturday. The carnival was one of many Spring Weekend events.

By Susan Buchman
Staff Reporter

The Undergraduate Association staged a major attempt to revive Spring Weekend this year, holding many sets of events and bringing a concert to the weekend for the first time in three years.

The largest event of the weekend was the Funk Festival on Friday night, featuring Maceo Parker, Fishbone, and Five Fingers of Funk. Stuart L. Jackson '00, social chair for the Undergraduate Association, estimated attendance of the Funk Festival at 1,000.

The cost of bringing the bands to the Institutewas $20,000, said Christine M. Hartmann '98, co-coordinator of Spring Weekend.

"I was really happy with the band selection. I feel like funk music really crossed the boundaries on campus," said Hartmann.

Although not an official Spring Weekend event, a concert at the same time as the Funk Festival featuring the pop band Granian at Baker House was attended by about 250 people despite the fact that some people who had arrived early left when the opening band failed to show up. "Granian was great; everybody really liked them," said Baker Social Chair John S. Holmes '99.

The $1,300 cost of bringing Granian to campus was funded by Baker House residents through their house taxes.

The Granian party was negatively affected by the Funk Festival's demand for Campus Police officers. "The biggest problem was we couldn't have a cash bar because there weren't enough Campus Police" to meet Institute requirements, he said.

Holmes and the Spring Weekend planning committee had been working together in an attempt to have the two concerts on separate dates, but negotiations fell apart under pressure to sign contracts.

Weekend features breaks, food

The Spring Weekend began on Thursday evening with a study break sponsored by the UA.

The International Fair held Friday featured food, music, and dance from a variety of cultures. There were also performances throughout the day by cultural groups.

Other events taking place throughout the weekend included carnival games, a piano drop, a Whopper Eating Contest, and the Alpha Phlea Market.

Mr. Spring Weekend, organized by the Women's Independent Living Group, was a non-traditional male pageant. According to Jennifer E. Szlosek '01, the competition featured creative categories such as Non-Conformal Evening Wear, Charades, Short Answers Questions, Talent, and Persuasion Abilities.

In the Persuasion Abilities segment the contestants went into the crowd to solicit donations for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

The winner, Christian D. Garcia '01, was chosen because he was able to solicit the most donations. Approximately seventy people attended the event.

Alpha Tau Omega hosted the Bachelor and Bachelorette Auction and Dance Party from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The organizers were unavailable for comment.

Weekend deemed a success

Spring Weekend's organizers declared the events a success. "It went really well. It was a chance for the MITcommunity to get together and a chance for the administration to show support for students and support social life on campus," Jackson said. "We're looking forward to bigger and better things in the future."

Approximately $33,000 was spent on Spring Weekend. The funds were supplied by the President's Office, the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education, the Office of the Arts, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the Provost's Office, the Undergraduate Association, the School of Architecture, and the School of Science.

Additional funding was provided by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science, the Department of Biology, the Department of Chemical Engineering, and the Campus Activities Complex Programming Board.