UPC brings school spirit to campus concourse

By Cal Scannell

You may have seen the enormous flat screen TVs in the Campus Center yesterday afternoon, or heard the dazzling/ glass-shattering vocals of your peers echoing throughout the concourse. If you were lucky, you may even have walked away with a Minuteman t-shirt, or a mini foam football (score!)

It’s all part of this week’s line-up of Homecoming events presented by the University Programming Council (UPC), an entirely student-run organization that presents students campus events including the yearly Spring Concert.

This week, in anticipation of the big athletic games and alumni weekend, the UPC has organized a number of events to get community members in the spirit. They kicked-off the festivities with Tuesday’s RSO Talent Show.

Wednesday followed with Spirit on the Concourse, designed to give students a happy break from the daily grind. The activities available included Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution set-ups where students could stop and perform on the way to and from class.

Kasey Beckerman, senior event planning and public relations major and executive director of UPC explains, “Spirit on the concourse is a new event for us. This is the first time we’ve done this.”

According to Beckerman, organizers “wanted to get athletics involved” with an appearance by and photo-op with Sam the Minuteman. “This was more about just getting people in the homecoming spirit,” she said. “We have some free giveaways, like the basketball and the football and the novelties and rock band during the day, just [for students] to have a nice time between classes.”

The main goal of the events is to set the tone for the upcoming games against the University of New Hampshire. “Homecoming is all about the students and getting them amped for the big game,” Beckerman said. “UPC is all about doing things for students, so being able to put on events this week is a big deal for us. We want to give them a good time for such a big week. It’s also a big week for alumni. It’s a big week for everybody.”

The week’s UPC events will culminate in Club U on Friday with a massive dance party for UMass students. “It’s our second year for Club U. Last year we sold out,” recalls Beckerman.

“It’s bigger than a [dance party],” she explained. “We have this great D.J., Club T who came for our first event, the Student Union Shutdown, and they’re bringing all this great equipment so we’ll have music videos playing in the background like an actual club scene and we’ll have glow sticks. We’re going to be going all out for a big club here at UMass and there’s going to be pizza and drinks and it’s free!” Non-UMass students will have to pay a $5 entrance fee.

UMass students can also look forward to a full line-up of events next semester from UPC., including UMass’ Best Comedy, the winner of which will emcee the Spring Concert and UPC’s yearly highlight, Battle of the Bands. “There’s a lots to look forward to, we’re really excited,” Beckerman said.

Her advice to students: “Just come. It’s really fun and we all put so much work into it and we just want everyone to have a good time.”

Cal Scannell can be reached at [email protected]