‘Welcome to the Jungle’: 51st Southwest Week starts Monday

51st annual Southwest week includes inflatables

Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Bonnie Chen, Collegian Staff

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The University of Massachusetts Southwest Area Government is planning their 51st annual Southwest Week with the overall theme “Welcome to the Jungle” as a big sendoff event before the end of the academic school year.

With $17,895 in funding granted by the Residential Hall Association, the area government has planned an eventful week with hour-long events for three days during the week of April 22-26.

The planning of this week began back in January under the leadership of Southwest governor Padraig Smith and staff advisor Ryan Young, along with lieutenant governor Brendan O’Sullivan, secretary Lauren Bouvier and treasurer Shealyn Stude.

Beginning on Monday, April 22 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in front of Hampshire Dining Common, the first day will play homage to Earth Day with a focus on sustainability. A number of UMass RSOs, such as the Ski & Board club, MASSPIRG, Paperbark Literary Magazine, Habitat for Humanity, UMass Permaculture Initiative and the Craft Center, will be tabling. Baby Berk will also be parked nearby for attendees to buy food.

Activities at the day’s event will include tie dye and “Kindness Rocks,” in which students will be able to paint kind sayings onto rocks. A tie dye station will be put together by SWAG where “people are going to be able to bring whatever articles of clothing they want and we’ll give them a little new life with tie dye,” said Smith. “We just thought it would be nice since it coincides with Earth Day to devote a day to sustainability.”

Thursday will be “Inflatables Day”, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Southwest basketball courts and Pierpont lawn. There will be inflatables, obstacle courses, a rock wall, a dunk tank, a mechanical shark and more. Several vendors will be tabling and giving out samples. Some of these vendors include Argo Tea, Yerba Mate, KIND Bar, Insomnia Cookies and Victoria’s Secret PINK.

“It will be a lot of fun for the community and [will] give everyone a de-stressor before finals and summer,” said Smith.

The last day will be “Battle of the Bands” on Friday, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Southwest basketball courts. Bouvier booked campus bands and dance groups, like Izzy Salant, the Pulse Tap Team, Walk Arkain and Chris Focus, Short Circuit, T-Nugg the Phoenix, UgoBoy & Flourish Forever and Raspberry Jam. Berkshire Dining Hall will be providing carnival food like corn dogs, mozzarella sticks, soft pretzels and French fries.

Throughout the three days, SWAG will be giving out promotional gear like frisbees, stress balls, wristbands and can coolers.

The events are weather permitting, as it may rain towards the end of the week. If it rains on Thursday, “Inflatables day” will be combined with “Battle of the Bands” on Friday. However, if it rains on Friday, SWAG will not be able to reschedule.

“We hope to put on one last big event before and we hope to instill a sense of community in Southwest for future years to come,” said O’Sullivan.

Bonnie Chen can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @BonnieChenn.