First-class passengers slide down a slick deck to the crowds of eager passengers below, while nearby unaffected spectators jump, flip, fly, pose, punch, knock each other’s heads off and even participate in some potty play.
This was neither the Titanic tragedy gone berserk nor someone’s hallucination after watching “Titanic” and “American Gladiators” reruns in the same evening. The hubbub was the College Union Board (CUB)’s annual Fall Fun Fest in the College’s Recreation Center.
Jim Heyes, freshman biology major, was excited to try many of the activities at the Fest, including the toilet seat driving game.
“I love toilet seats, and I love driving, so driving a toilet seat was like sitting on cloud nine,” Heyes said while waiting in a line for the popular bungee extreme – four trampolines with bungee cords. “It was definitely the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Heyes also tried the “head knocker-offer,” as he called the padded costume and weapon jousting contest, the Slam Dunk obstacle course four times, the Bungee Bull, and bouncy boxing, and the 33-foot high blow-up Titanic replica slide.
“The Titanic slide is huge, and (College kids) just don’t get to go on slides anymore,” Tara Conte, sophomore English major and CUB event coordinator in charge of Fall Fun Fest, said.
By 11:15 p.m. 456 people had drifted in, doorman Stefan Hayden, senior graphic arts major and CUB member, said.
“We try to evolve the event every year,” Regina Mahone, senior English major and CUB director said. “This year we have a movie theme.”
Many students eagerly anticipated their turns on a bull that their friends yanked around in attempts to throw them off, virtual car racing, a Velcro spider web wall and a blow-up obstacle course that culminated in a basketball net.
For the less action-inclined, CUB had a midnight game show and the opportunity to superimpose a self-photo onto a movie poster or magazine covers such as those for “Cosmo GIRL,” “Money” and “Teen People.” WTSR provided live entertainment and games, and of course, there was the humor in seeing the preschooler come out in your friends.
“You can try everything, or just a little bit – whatever your comfort level is. There is a good variety,” Leigh Silbernagel, freshman political science major, said, while considering trying the bungee bounce.
The Thinkfast trivia game show at midnight saw a full room of competitive students with noble plans for $200 cash.
Winner John Demarchant split his winnings between the two couples on his team, who did not know each other until they became teammates. Neither couple has any plans for the money yet.
“Our strategy was to get the right answers and to have a good pickup line,” Demarchant said.
Demarchant’s first-place-winning pickup line, “Nice legs! What time do they open?” won him a spot challenging the two finalists from the entire game show.
Contestants during the course of the game answered questions ranging from “Who is the national security advisor?” (Condoleezza Rice) to “What is the motto at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series?” (Never tickle a sleeping dragon).
Fall Fun Fest, which is planned months in advance, can provide for a long night for CUB.
“We need 50 to 80 people to staff,” Conte said.
Members set up from 5 to 7 p.m. and started cleaning after the game show ended around 1:30 a.m. Helpers were required to be there until 4 a.m. if needed, said Hayden.
The event attracts many freshmen because of its proximity to the freshmen dorms and the opportunity to meet people and just have a good time.
“We can’t go to Chuck E. Cheese anymore, so this gives everyone a chance to be a kid again,” Mahone said.
“Don’t be afraid to be five again,” a bungee bounce technician said in his instructions to jumpers. After some jumpers had an exhilarating flight, he said, “There you go. Let freedom ring.”