In 1962, Springfield College created Sti-Yu-Ka, a week that helps welcome spring, and a week that helps students relax and have a bit of fun before the stress of finals rolls around.
While the entire week of Sti-Yu-Ka is always jam-packed with a slew of entertaining activities and events, it all leads up to the end of the week when the Sti-Yu-Ka games are held.
A tradition that can be traced all the way back to the early ‘70s, the Sti-Yu-Ka games are one of the most anticipated events of the week.
“[It’s] like a big family reunion picnic,” Director of Alumni Relations Tamie Kidess Lucey explained. “Instead of sack races and three-legged races, we climb a greased pole, pass oatmeal, feed each other applesauce and race tricycles.”
The event, put on by the Student Alumni Association, has been running for over 30 years now. Some of the more important and memorable events include the greased pole climb, the oatmeal pass and the tricycle race. New events have come and gone over the course of the games’ history.
“From what I can tell, over time there have been different games,” said Kidess Lucey. “Some of them are very competitive and unique and you need some physical skill, and some of them are just fun. I think that they were crafted so everyone could play and participate and have fun, or people can have fun and watch too.”
A past activity included a giant water slide that went down Rally Hill and led directly into Lake Massasoit.
“The fire department would come and open a hydrant for us and it was amazingly fun,” Kidess Lucey said with a chuckle.
Due to safety reasons, the water slide has since been discontinued, but each and every year members of the Student Alumni Association try to come up with new and exciting games to add to the event.
Co-president of the event and sophomore Brett Nowlan is happy to announce that himself, fellow co-president and senior Alison Dombroski, and the rest of the SAA staff will be introducing a new game this year.
“We are most excited for our new game this year,” Nowlan said. “We have one game called cheese head in which one person wears a shower cap covered in shaving cream [and tries] to catch cheese balls on their head thrown from their partner.”
The SAA group has been planning for the games all semester long, and they plan on having a big turnout.
“If we can get good participation in the games, I know they are all going to be a blast,” added Nowlan.
The 30-plus year tradition will begin this Friday, April 26 starting with the infamous oatmeal pass at 2 p.m. on Reed Green.
“I think that Sti-Yu-Ka itself and Sti-Yu-Ka games are just a very important patch in our patchwork quilt that is Springfield College,” Kidess Lucey said. “If it was missing, there would be a hole in the quilt.”