With finals week quickly approaching, many students are scrambling to finish essays and studying all night in the library. However, Rachel O’Neil said she thinks it’s important for students to take a break from the stress of exams and spend time with their friends before the semester is over.
“Students (should) get excited because you’re a week away from finals, and that means you’re a week away from summer,” said O’Neil, University Activities Commission Festivals Committee co-chair.
She and Co-Chair Anja Meerwald are planning SpringFest, UAC’s annual showcase of bands on the Campus Mall. O’Neil said SpringFest is the perfect event for students to let loose and relax the last week of class.
One band will play each day from May 7 through May 11. On April 13, UAC began accepting band submissions for the event.
O’Neil said this year 12 bands submitted samples of their music. Out of the 12, Meerwald and O’Neil chose five to perform. While the list isn’t finalized yet, they feel confident that their choices will be available to entertain the students.
“We try to get different styles of bands,” Meerwald said.
So far in their planning, Meerwald said they have been successful in achieving variety in the bands. There will be a mainstream boy band, reggae, folk and alternative, she said. Two of the bands include members who are currently UW-Eau Claire students.
Senior Chris Macheichok said he remembers the bands from last year, but didn’t know they were associated with an organized event. He said he thinks SpringFest is a good opportunity for students to relax before exams.
“I never stick around to watch, but I definitely think it’s a release,” he said. “People are stressed going to the library and (preparing) for finals.”
Meerwald said the organizers are trying to bring more focus to SpringFest, using the bands to draw students in.
“Everyone kind of knows it’s there, but nobody knows who puts it on or why it’s there,” she said. “So, we’re trying to make it a little more well-known. This year we’re looking to bring a little more entertainment.”
In the past, the only source of entertainment was music, but this year Meerwald and O’Neil said they wanted to add something more exciting for the students. On Monday, there will be an exotic animals display, Meerwald said.
“Students will be able to pet and hold these animals, so we’re pretty excited about that,” she said.
Another new source of entertainment will be a Zoot Suit Balloon show, in which the presenter will create a wide variety of elaborate balloons for students. Meerwald said that performance is scheduled for Thursday.
The UAC collected donations from several businesses in the area to provide prizes for the students who attend SpringFest. Meerwald said prizes include Scheels gift cards, a free two-month membership to Anytime Fitness and a makeup kit from Starr Sister’s Salon.
Ultimately, since UAC is funded by student segregated fees, everything they do is to benefit the students, Meerwald said. SpringFest is specifically catered to students during the stress
“It’s just kind of one last hurrah before the (end of the)semester.”