Fountain Day a splashing success
Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Updated: Sunday, June 17, 2012 14:06
The chilly weather did not stop students from celebrating the University at Albany spring tradition of Fountain Day this past Sunday.
About 9,000 students registered for the event on MyUAlbany, and about 8,000 were in attendance, according to Christine Bouchard, vice president for student success. This was not a large growth from last year's, which had almost 9,000 attendees.
"It was cold but awesome. No matter how the weather is, it's going to be amazing," said UAlbany senior Chris Bauer.
Around 2 p.m., Fountain Day's first-ever musical performer, Flo Rida, took the Student Association Splash Stage set-up on the podium, near the small fountain outside Campus Center.
SA spent $40,000 to have Flo Rida perform, and $30,000 in sponsorship of Fountain Day, according to SA Programming Director Reuben Ingber.
"At the end of the day we have spent significantly less on the S.A. Splash Stage then we would have for a ParkFest style concert," Ingber wrote in an e-mail to the Albany Student Press.
"It's a great event, it's always been a great event, and this year we just made it even better," said Ingber, towards the end of the day's festivities.
Not all students were happy with SA's selection of musical entertainment.
"I think our school needs to find a better balance between Reel Big Fish and Flo Rida. There's got to be some middle ground," said sophomore Mimi Rhines.
To begin the concert, Flo Rida performed his hit single "In The Ayer." During "Right Round," which received a loud, screaming crowd response, a few female students got the opportunity to dance on the stage.
"They picked me up and pulled me over the railing and I ran onto the stage, it was awesome. I love UAlbany," said student Brittany Cross.
While Flo Rida performed on the stage, a huge crowd of students still occupied the fountain, waiting for the big moment it would turn on for the first time of the year.
"It wasn't loud enough. When I was in the fountain I couldn't really hear it." said senior Loryn Pallotta of the concert set up. "I'd rather have a mix of music, not just rap, but all genres."
The countdown to turn the fountain on began a few minutes after the scheduled time of 3:00 p.m.
"It could have been more on time," commented student Jason Schwartzberg.
Among the crowd of students, beach balls and rubber ducks that took over the fountain were a few eye-catching characters.
"I wanted to stick out," said senior Wesley Rose, who was dressed head-to-toe in a florescent "green man" spandex suit. "The amount of love I got from everybody far outweighed the consequences," he said.
"I had it left over from Halloween, so I had to go big for Fountain Day, I just had to," said one student who splashed in the fountain dressed as Winnie the Pooh.
This was the first year since 2005 that UAlbany alumni were not able to attend Fountain Day. Last year, about 250 alumni attended, according to Bouchard.
"It is my responsibility to do my utmost to provide for the safety of the student community while maintaining Fountain Day as a cherished tradition on this campus," said Bouchard in an e-mail to the ASP, "I am asking that alums cherish their memories of their student days in order to support a safe Fountain Day for our current students."
University Auxiliary Services contributed $22,500 in program funds for Fountain Day this year, according to UAS Program Director J. Eric Smith. This went mainly towards food but also music, inflatable games and other activities.
In the past, Chartwells has donated food for Fountain Day, but this year only donated labor, according to Alisa Mathis Peterson, resident district manager of Chartwells. Free hot dogs, sausage, chips, cookies and beverages were available for students.
The full staff of University Police Department, approximately 50 officers, provided security for the event, as well as around 200 additional security staff from New Paltz, Oneonta and private security companies, according to UPD officer Paul Sheridan.