By Tristan Leach
As the sun began to set, groups of students gradually appeared on the Campus Mall. The air was thick with excitement as music started to play from the DJ booth perched on top of the small hill. Spring Fling 2022 was getting started.
On April 9, the Student Entertainment Council hosted Spring Fling. The event was one of great excitement as students and staff alike had been kept inside all week due to heavy rain. Though the grass squished with water from earlier that day, students ran to get their favorite carnival treat and free Rider merchandise.
This year’s Spring Fling included food from Rider’s Bronc Bites truck. During the event, the truck served corn dogs, chicken tenders, caramel apples and candied apples. Mister Softee was also featured at the event, which served ice cream with a variety of toppings. Students could also enjoy fried Oreos, cotton candy and pizza. Many students got one of each delicious treat or shared it with their friends.
Senior Emily Owens, a film and television major, said, “We got here right when it started. We wanted to beat the crowds, but so far it’s really fun. The music is really good. I got my candied apple; I got my snacks and I’m getting more snacks.”
While some enjoyed the free food and hanging out on the grass with their friends, others engaged in some friendly competition. Spring Fling featured several inflatable games for students. Amongst these were an obstacle course, a basketball game, bull riding and Knocker Balls, a game where students wore a giant padded ball around their body and tried to knock out other opponents. Laughter rang out across the Campus Mall as students watched their friends.
Serenity Sanders, a senior psychology major, said, “I came to the festival, one for the free food and two, it sounded like a good time and I could hear the music from my room, so I figured why not pop out.”
As the sky grew darker, the event — Hey DJ, Play This Song! — began. This event featured a bit of friendly competition. Two students would volunteer to come up and play a song based on the given category. Whoever won would remain at the booth until they were beaten by a new competitor. The winner of each round was picked by applause from the students and staff. Some categories included boy bands and crowd favorites.
As Hey DJ, Play That Song! ended, some students made their way over to the Resident Quad, where a giant inflatable movie screen was set up. The movie on the chilly spring night was “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” a Marvel fan favorite. Before the movie, music videos and other short entertainment were shown. At the beginning of Spring Fling, goodie bags were given out for the movie. The bags featured a Rider beach towel, a Rider water bottle and some snacks for the film.
The night carried on with students leaving the event happily. With smiles on their faces, they talked about their favorite parts of the evening and expressed their hope for Spring Fling to return next school year.