A Stony Brook student rides a mechanical bull at the EOP indoor carnival in the Student Activities Center. The event served a way for attendees to destress before finals. EMILY NORMAN/THE STATESMAN

The Student Activities Center Ballroom A was transformed into an indoor carnival on April 26 to keep students’ minds off finals and instead on fun.

The circus-themed event was organized by the Educational Opportunity Program Student Association to serve as a way for students to de-stress in a time of impending final exams, Chrissey Celisaint, the president of the EOPSA and senior health science major, said.

Attendees had a variety of games and activities to choose from to enjoy with friends. A photo booth by the entrance, a popular attraction throughout the night, had props like mustaches and top hats for students to take funny photos. A bull ride was one of the main attractions at the event, where students lined up waiting for their chance to try to stay on the bull as long they could.

EOPSA members encouraged students to play games like ring toss, darts and bowling as many times as they wanted to earn tickets. Depending on the amount of tickets earned, students received prizes including a Rubik’s Cube and portable charger.

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With the abundance of carnival food and activities, some students expressed how happy they were to be able to procrastinate studying and assignments. Sophomore psychology and English major Lazaro Rivera attended the carnival to relax and support his fellow EOP students.

“Events like these make me feel relieved; they take the stress off,” Rivera said. “I get to just hang out and not worry about my finals.”

EOP provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds with financial and academic support to further their success in college. The EOP Student Association was created in 2014 to promote the message and mission of EOP across campus through activities such as Wednesday night’s carnival.

A live DJ kept the event going with upbeat music that had everyone dancing. Students also hovered over the array of concessions including popcorn, cotton candy, funnel cakes and hot pretzels. Those with a sweet tooth had the option of using caramel and powdered sugar as toppings for the funnel cake or going straight for the ice cream.

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“The turnout was a lot higher than expected,” Celissaint said. “I was not expecting this many people to come but we are happy they did. I wanted to do this last semester, but space was short so I am glad we actually got it done this time.”

In order to get into the carnival, students had to bring school supplies as the entrance fee. Celissaint said that the EOPSA plans on giving the supplies to incoming EOP students.

“We thought about giving it to new students so they have something fresh to start with,” she said. “It’s good to have something new.”

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