The Commuter Student Association hosted a fun in the sun Boardwalk event on ... LUIS RUIZ DOMINGUEZ/THE STATESMAN
The Commuter Student Association hosted an event on Feb. 16 where students enjoyed eating free food, playing video games and riding a mechanical shark. LUIS RUIZ DOMINGUEZ/THE STATESMAN

On Thursday, Feb. 16, the Commuter Student Association briefly distracted students from the harsh winter by hosting a beach-themed “CSA Boardwalk” event. Featuring free food, live music, a mechanical shark, Dance Dance Revolution, airbrush tattoos and more, this event gave students a summer feeling during a snowy season.

CSA president James Vassallo explained the inspiration behind having a beach-themed event in the middle of winter.

The irony of it, really,” Vassallo said. “We wanted to do something that would get more people [and would be] more accessible. Kayley Murphy, the USG rep, had the idea of a beach day, so we twisted it into a boardwalk event.”

This was the first time CSA had done an event like this, and Vassallo said he hoped this, along with all CSA events and meetings, would allow students to “connect with the campus and other students.”

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“I think it’s so important for [students] to have the chance to meet people and meet some of the other organizations,” Vassallo added.

In addition to simply having a mid-class break, the event gave the student body a chance to unwind and escape the academic routine that so many have fallen into by now. A place where students can get together to talk, eat and engage in activities is refreshing after a day of classes and studying.

“I was doing homework before this and I came here to hang out before my next class,” Heather Monaghan, a junior biology major, said.“It’s definitely stress relieving. The music helps too.”

Beyond the booming sound system, this event featured a handful of performances by singers, guitarists and more.

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“The environment is really inviting,” Topaz Baumvoll, a junior psychology major, said. “Everyone is really friendly. The people really worked hard and tried to make it as fun as they can in the midst of midterms.”

She said the event left a good impression on her and made her want to attend more events in the future.

There were also booths run by the Campus Recreation Center, Sri Lankan Student Association and more. This gave students a great opportunity to learn about other organizations and facilities on campus.  

“It’s important that university experience is more than just going to class, and that only happens when you set aside time and meet with other students and make connections,” Vassallo said. “You have to start reaching out, and these opportunities are really key for that.”

After riding the mechanical shark or enjoying a round of Dance Dance Revolution, students had many options of free food, including  pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones.

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Louis Villacci, a senior political science and Spanish double major, said he felt the event was perfect because when students have breaks between classes, these campus events can be used as entertainment and something to do. 

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