Kent State hosts first Color War during Black Squirrel Festival


Students celebrate after the conclusion of the first Color War during Black Squirrel Fest on Friday Sept. 11, 2015.

Bruno Beidacki

Kent State’s first Color War took place on Manchester Field during the annual Black Squirrel Festival on Friday, allowing students to both learn about Kent State organizations and blow off steam from the first two weeks of classes.

More than 150 student organizations and vendors were present at the festival, which was organized by the Center for Student Involvement.

The forecast previewed a rainy afternoon, but students lucked out with a sunny day and had the chance to enjoy all the planned events.

At 2 p.m, hundreds of students flung blue and yellow powder at each other and embraced the new activity with welcome arms.

“It was a lot of fun, definitely something different to do on campus,” said sophomore fashion merchandising major Annie Skoch. “I really liked the school pride aspect, but I would have enjoyed more if they had more colors.”

Martin Shutzberg, a sophomore hospitality management major, said the event was “a colorful blast.”

However, he shared a piece of advice for those participating in upcoming years.

“Make sure you keep your mouth closed,” he said. “Having powder in it can ruin the experience.”

For sophomore business major Ritika Srivastava, an international student from India, the event had a special meaning because India has a similar tradition.

“Every year, we celebrate the Hindu Holi Festival, a spring event where we spray colors on others and dance,” she said. “It was fun and nostalgic to do the same here at Kent State,” she said.

The Black Squirrel Festival however, was not just about powder and school spirit. Student organizations and university departments had the opportunity to advertise their activities and services.

Senior education abroad adviser Nick Vasiloff represented the Office of Global Education at the festival and said he was happy with the results.

“We talked to about 400 students in just a few hours,” he said. “Our expectations are that half of those attend our Education Abroad Expo that happens soon.”

Vasiloff said the event is important because it allows organizations and departments to reach out to incoming freshmen who might still be learning about the university.

“At the beginning of the semester, students are still trying to fit in, and they have many preconceptions about who we are and what we do,” he said. “(The festival) is an opportunity to get closer to the Kent State community in a friendly, fun environment.”

Upcoming events include the Education Abroad Expo 2015, held Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Student Center, and the Mr. Flash Pageant on Sept. 29 in the Student Center Ballroom from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Bruno Beidacki is the activities reporter for the Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].