For the first time, student organizations on campus have come together for I <3 Fresno State Week—the celebration of all things Fresno State.
The event was organized by several student organizations, which are cooperating in attempt to spread awareness and spur student involvement.
“We all love Fresno State for different reasons and we kind of want other students to understand and help them get involved,” said Tamar Karkazian, director of University Student Union (USU) Productions and supreme allied commander of the event.
“It’s just so that students know what organizations are out there for them to become involved and also to interact and have fun with other students,” she said.
The first day in the three-day I <3 (pronounced “heart”) Fresno State event, I <3 Involvement, began yesterday with carnival games and free food. The event took place at the Free Speech Area from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where organizations set up tables and welcomed curious students with information.
Members of Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) and USU leadership were also there, but instead of just offering information, they encouraged passers-by to greet them personally – with a cream pie to the face.
Kris Westcott, chairperson for the USU board of directors, was one of the several members willing to shed some dignity in the name of fun and collaboration.
“Honestly, it’s really messy and you have this weird smell in your nose,” Westcott said. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way because I love ASI and the USU board and these organizations are all coming out here and representing I <3 Fresno State week and it’s really important to get the visibility out there.”
The second day, I <3 Spirit, begins tonight before the men’s basketball game against New Mexico at the Save Mart Center.
Before the game, USU will have the Bulldog Pride Zone, which will have carnival games, such as a beanbag toss, darts, a prize wheel, memory games, prizes and free pizza.
During the event, students will have access to body paint and glitter. Those who show off the most Fresno State pride are eligible to win multiple prizes.
There will be several grand prizes available consisting of a Bulldog gift basket filled with Fresno State gear such as an I <3 Fresno State T-shirt, a water bottle, buttons, colored beads, gift cards and others.
During the game, which begins at 7 p.m., event organizers will walk around the stands at the Save Mart Center on the hunt for enthusiastic fans, that is, students showing the most Fresno State spirit, and give them prizes. The most spirited fan will be given a Bulldog gift basket.
The third and final day in the I <3 Fresno State week, called I <3 Service, will be Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Free Speech Area.
“We’re going to ask students to come up to make Valentine’s cards for the three nonprofit organizations, then they will get a raffle ticket in return for participating,” said Melissa Ellis, service commander for the event.
The cards will be sent to the Children’s Hospital, the Base Camp Community dinner for El Dorado Park residents and the Fairwinds Retirement Community.
At 1 p.m., the organizers will draw a single raffle ticket for the grand-prize gift basket.
Organizers will also pass out free chocolate and strawberry ice cream courtesy of the Fresno State Farm Market.
Ann Soghomonian, marketing commander for the event, believes that I <3 Fresno State week serves a special service for more than students.
“I also feel like it’s not about loving—especially for Valentine’s Day—a significant other or close friends,” she said. “It’s also about spreading the love to others like with the Valentine’s Day cards. Show other people that you care, not just someone you actually know.”
Arthur Montejano, ASI president, volunteered to be an unfortunate pie receiver during the I <3 Involvement event.
“Some of the reactions were just awesome,” he said. “You can just tell you made someone’s day.”
Montejano believes the event will succeed in offering an equal amount of fun and interaction with Fresno State’s student organizations.
“I see students interacting with the different organizations and having some good conversations, hopefully about getting involved and learning a little more about the resources that are available at their disposal,” he said. “And if that’s all they walk away with, then we accomplished our goal.”