Many ways to get into Spring Jam

With all the activities offered, people get involved in Spring Jam for many reasons.

Emily Banks

Some students experience Spring Jam by attending a concert, eating free food or sumo wrestling at Coffman Union. Others see the week from a different perspective.

Whether participating means being crowned royalty, gaining leadership experience or just enjoying the festivities, each student involved in Spring Jam does it for different reasons.

Crown of royalty

Spring Jam committee member Anthony Brown introduced the candidates for this year’s Spring Jam royalty while they stood in a line wearing their sashes at the block party.

The candidates, representing different organizations and student groups, waved to the audience before the ComedySportz show Wednesday night as members of their groups cheered.

Helen Goblirsch, an art history junior, didn’t expect to compete. Coming from an all-girls boarding school, she said she never had experienced royalty competitions. Her sorority chapter, Kappa Kappa Gamma, nominated her for Spring Jam’s Best Actress and the chance to win the final prize for the chosen king and queen, a trip to Hollywood.

Goblirsch looked to a sorority member who participated in the royalty competition last year to answer her questions.

“I asked her ‘Is it really intense or really hard?’ And it seemed like something I wanted to do,” she said.

She transferred to the University last year and participated in campuswide events, but “more secondhand than firsthand,” she said.

Goblirsch and the other royalty candidates donned their sashes and ran around campus Tuesday night for “The Goonies” scavenger hunt. Goblirsch said the teams were given movie clues such as, “If you had to serve detention in the movie ‘The Breakfast Club,’ where would it be?”

“I felt like I got a huge workout,” she said.

The candidates earn points for involvement in Spring Jam events as well as their application and interviews. Her team didn’t win the scavenger hunt and didn’t receive full points.

She said she doesn’t know how many points she has and couldn’t gauge her standing, but said, “I hope I’m doing well.”

Each candidate also had to complete a short-answer section stating what movie character they are most like.

Goblirsch called herself a “strong-willed person,” and compared herself to Catherine Watson from the movie “Mona Lisa Smile.” Watson, played by Julia Roberts, is an art history professor at an East Coast women’s college. She said she shares the same interest in art history and attended an all-women school in Connecticut.

Late last night, after the Ballyhoo preliminaries and a game of movie trivia, the number of candidates was pared to the finalists.

“I’m prepared to be cut, but I don’t want to be,” she said.

Committee leadership

The start of spring semester marked the beginning of Spring Jam planning for its committee.

The committee has been working for months to ensure this year’s events go smoothly.

Agricultural and food business management senior Stacy Vanden Avond said she always has loved being a part of Spring Jam.

Vanden Avond, co-coordinator of the Spring Jam committee, said she competed in Ballyhoo her first year and sophomore year, and decided to join the committee this year for its leadership opportunities.

“It was always one of my favorite times of the year,” Vanden Avond said.

After enjoying her experience on the homecoming committee in the fall, she decided to join the Spring Jam committee as well, she said.

Vanden Avond said her job consists of making calendars for the events, helping coordinate the others on the committee and providing them with resources. Just being there and being supportive is the key, she said.

“It is a problem-solving position but you can’t stop something from going wrong,” she said.

During a fan appreciation kickoff event for Spring Jam on Wednesday, the electricity went out for an obstacle course in front of Coffman Union, she said. After calling the electric company and looking at options to resolve the issue, the committee decided to take down the course.

She said it worked out in the end because it created more space for students to get food and hang out.

“You do what you can, but on the outside people don’t know when things are going wrong,” she said. “It gives you a different perspective when you’re behind the scenes.”

Ballyhoo dancin’

This year’s Spring Jam theme, “Movies That Rock,” brings movies and music together through the performances of Ballyhoo competitors.

Ballyhoo, a choreographed dance to a mix of music, is a tradition of Spring Jam and the committee encouraged participants to incorporate movie themes and characters into their dance routines.

First-year Adam Justin, one of six members on the Territorial Hall Ballyhoo team, said he joined the team to get involved in the excitement of Spring Jam.

“I was involved with homecoming and thought Spring Jam would be the spring version of it,” Justin said.

He said getting involved is important to him because it helps him meet new people and learn more about the University.

“It is a good way to make the campus seem smaller,” Justin said. “It is a good way to meet other students of other ages and see what their experience at the University has been and compare that to what you were expecting to have.”

He said Territorial Hall’s movie theme is the “Flintstones” and the team is using songs from the movie in their routine, which will incorporate jazz and hip-hop dance moves. He said each member of the team helped create the routine.

Justin said his team has been practicing and changing the routine since March. He said he hopes the practice has paid off and his team does well in the competition.

Too many students are afraid to try new things, he said. He encouraged students to become involved in events like Spring Jam because they help students learn about opportunities at the University.