Spring Jam coordinators target entire U

Emily Babcock

Erica Dew used 10 of her 15 minutes of fame Saturday when she played the tambourine and danced on stage with some of her sorority sisters during the Spring Jam Battle of the Bands competition.
“I’ve wanted to be the ‘tambourine girl’ all four years,” said Dew, a College of Liberal Arts senior and member of Alpha Chi Omega. “And I finally got to do it.”
Dew achieved her collegiate dream through one of the Spring Jam Week events. The student band competition was one of many activities about 2,500 students watched or participated in at the annual University carnival celebration.
All events took place in the Buckeye parking lot, which is part of the Huron Boulevard Parking Complex. The area provided enough room for carnival rides, two stages for bands and food booths.
Adam Brosz, a CLA sophomore, also attracted attention at the student band competition. He supported his fraternity’s band by dancing on stage and playing a cow bell. The shirtless and war-painted Brosz said the event was a fun opportunity to hang out with friends and hear some good music.
“Spring Jam is a fling, man,” Brosz said.
Besides student bands, another stage provided afternoon songs that ranged from reggae to rap.
About 6,000 people returned Saturday evening to the parking lot for the Violent Femmes performance, said M. Shawn Lawler, co-director of the Spring Jam committee.
The committee sold about 4,000 tickets, but Lawler estimated about 500 fans trampled the fence blocking off the concert.
University Police, along with concert security were present, but too many people rushed at once, Lawler said. Though police detained some concert-goers, officials said final reports on the number of arrestees and charges would not be available until today.
Past Spring Jam celebrations were held in Dinkytown, but organizers decided to move the activities and create a larger event, said Louise Lindh, co-director of the Spring Jam committee.
“We’re trying to bring back the big campus carnival and bigger community events,” Lindh said.
The committee added the carnival rides and a concert series during the week of Spring Jam. The larger concert on Saturday night is another new addition.
The committee also intended to change the annual Spring Jam week from what was traditionally a greek event into a campus-wide event to get more people involved.
The committee solicited support from student groups and residence halls.
Besides hosting concerts and activities throughout the week, there were nine competitive events including three sporting events, skits, band and dance competitions and several spirit awards.
Traditionally, only greeks participated in all the events as teams. New this year, teams participated in individual events.
Organizers also allowed non-greek teams to join in the events. Lawler said more groups, like the residence halls and cultural centers entered the events.
Spring Jam participants also raised money for Camp Heartland, which is a camp for children with AIDS. The student group Students Teaching about AIDS and Reaching Students took advantage of the day of festivities to educate students about HIV and AIDS awareness.
Spring Jam events officially end tonight in Willey Hall during the awards ceremony for each of the nine events. Winners will receive trophies in the recognition event.