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The Best of Halo Fest

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Last week on Siena’s campus, Halo Fest, a weeklong celebration, occurred. There was an event every day of the week in which students, staff and faculty participated. Halo Fest was made possible through the work of the Student Programming And Recreation Committee (SPARC) and Student Engagement, as well as other student organizations that collaborated. For some students and faculty, this was their first and last Halo Fest.

SPARC President Jarrod Stober describes the week by saying Halo Fest “is a celebration where students can have fun, laugh, share and create memories with their friends before they head their separate ways for the summer.”

Monday was “Fieldhouse Fun” from 7-11 p.m. It featured Bongo Ball, pressured Nerf guns, bubble soccer, kickball sponsored by the Siena Student Nursing Association, an elephant ear food truck, intramural volleyball championships, and 3-on-3 basketball. Because of the nice night, bubble soccer was outside in front of the fieldhouse. Despite the darkness, that did not stop students from playing!

Tuesday was “Backyard Barbeque,” from 6-10 p.m. in Trinity Gardens. It featured a pig roast, complete with homemade guacamole made by the unofficial Spanish Club, as well as s’mores, slushies, messy Twister sponsored by Phi Sigma Sigma and Pi Lambda Phi and recycled flower planting sponsored by GreenLight. Finally, a live outdoor concert featuring the Acapelicans and Matt Whit as openers, followed by the main event, Haeley Vaughn, who is an artist hailing from Nashville, Tenn. The chilly night proved no problem for students who sat on the grass with blankets.

Wednesday was “Mr. Husky and Ms. Halo,” a faux pageant featuring a man and woman from each grade. The students involved participated in a talent show, a question-and-answer portion, a group dance and a lip sync battle. Students appeared highly entertained, with the talents ranging from dancing, spoken word, magic and more. There was also a candy bar that night provided by SPARC.

Thursday was “Student Leadership Night Awards” in which student leaders and campus organizations were recognized for their hard work. This night featured a playlist, a red carpet, desserts, including cookie shooters, and even a photographer!

Friday rounded out the week with “Holi Fest,” a celebration of an Indian tradition focusing on peace and happiness. Students played games during the day, received Henna tattoos, slushies, a taste of Indian food and were entered to win raffle baskets prior to the toss of colors at 5 p.m. The night continued with a grill out, sponsored by Chartwells, and ended with the powderpuff football game at 7 p.m. sponsored by the Sisterhood of Saints (S.O.S.).

For some students, it was their first time experiencing Halo Fest.

Freshman Ciara Ginn said Halo Fest was “energetic, full of activities, and tons of fun!” Her favorite parts were messy Twister and the color toss because she said she got to be a kid again, and it helped her forget about the stress of finals coming up. All in all, she said it was “a great way to conclude her freshman year at Siena while making amazing memories.” She concluded saying she is excited for next year’s Halo Fest!

Senior Stefan Wilkinson experienced his last Halo Fest.

He said his favorite part was the Student Leadership Night awards. Apart from the fact that it happened to be his birthday that night and the entire crowd sang to him, he said the night is a time to “recognize all the great leaders on campus and celebrate the great service and accomplishments of the Siena community.”

Wilkinson won the Saints Pride Award, celebrating his achievements both as an athlete and as a scholar involved in the community.

“It was an honor,” said Wilkinson.

Arthur Gwoszdz, a junior, commented on how Halo Fest gets more special every year and how he is thankful to have been able to participate in all the events. His favorite was Holi Fest, the festival of colors.

“It’s a time where friendships get mixed with colors and memories are made,” he said.

For one of our staff members, Gabe Dunbar, it was his last Halo Fest. The director of Student Engagement and has worked very closely these last five years to bring Halo Fest to what it is now. Originally, it used to be a general spirit week, Dunbar said. Over these past 2-3 years especially, he has worked in conjunction with SPARC to make it a tradition that students look forward to.

He said he hopes this week is a way for students to release anxiety and just be a college student.

“I hope this week leaves a solid last impression for the seniors and recommits the freshmen’s excitement for Siena.”

As earlier students and Dunbar attested to, Halo Fest really is a week that is looked forward to and will be remembered by all.

“I hope this week makes students feel thankful they are at Siena,” Dunbar concluded.

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The Best of Halo Fest