By Tucker Paquette
Oftentimes, in various realms of life, there is a key event on the calendar that is a highlight for everyone involved. At Springfield College, that event is a week’s worth of festivities that brings ample joy and enthusiasm to campus. This occasion is none other than Sti-Yu-Ka, a tradition on Alden Street.
Sti-Yu-Ka was created in 1961, and has maintained popularity since its inception. There are always several events that occur annually as Sti-Yu-Ka mainstays. However, some new programming is being introduced this year.
The 2023 edition starts on Monday, April 10, with an ice cream food truck and mini golf, which will take place on the Naismith Green at 12:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, there is a Hollywood movie night that is being coordinated with the Springfield College Film Club taking place at 8 p.m. This event is rather fitting, considering the theme of Sti-Yu-Ka this year is none other than Hollywood.
As the week progresses, Wednesday will feature Sti-Yu-Ka bingo, a very popular event started by Springfield College Assistant Dean for Student Engagement Annie Warchol. This will happen at 9 p.m in the field house.
The theme for this bingo is “anything but a chair,” a concept that Warchol wanted to bring back based on recent success.
“Bingo is always a huge hit, people have been very creative with what they bring in place of a chair,” Warchol said. “Students can bring things like carts and mattresses. Last year some people brought kayaks, tents that were set up, little hammocks.”
The only requirements, according to Warchol, are that people use things they have easy access to – such as items in their rooms.
Thursday will include an acapella show at 7 p.m. in the Fuller Arts Center, as well as the stepping-up day ceremony, an annual tradition on campus. In this event, each class officer “steps up” to signal the next in line to lead their respective classes.
The school week wraps up with the ever-popular Sti-Yu-Ka games out on the Reed Green at 1 p.m. Don’t fret, though: Sti-Yu-Ka’s events carry on into the weekend.
This year’s Sti-Yu-Ka Palooza, a concert-like event with several bands scheduled to perform and various food trucks set to be there too, will take place behind the PE Complex starting at 1 p.m. There is a charge of $10 for students to attend this event.
Springfield College Associate Director of Student Activities Julie Koivisto, who led the planning of the Sti-Yu-Ka Palooza, is eager for the festivities to get underway.
“[It’s enjoyable] to get everybody excited and ready to have a really good time,” Koivisto said. “It was great last year, so I’m looking forward to it this year.”
Some students have voiced concerns over the artists set to perform at this year’s Sti-Yu-Ka Palooza. Warchol is aware of the gripes, and she made note of how it was challenging to get lots of different options for bands to come play at Springfield College.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of performers had not decided by the time we were looking at contracts if they were going to do the college market,” Warchol said. “We have to do things [significantly] in advance, and we can’t wait.”
Warchol also mentioned how people attending Sti-Yu-Ka events makes it more feasible to get bigger-ticket bands to campus.
“It’s important that people come this year, because the money that’s raised for this year goes toward [budgeting] for next year,” Warchol said.
Overall, Sti-Yu-Ka presents people with a multitude of engaging activities to take part in, while providing an opportunity to hang around friends and classmates.
“A lot of times, [people] will be walking around campus and be like, ‘There’s a ton going on around campus, what is that?’” Warchol said. “Students get excited about the variety of things that are offered every year.”