BlastOff celebrates start of school year

Ashleigh Roederer, a Green Sash, of the Green Dragon Kung-Fu Club, performs a routine for the students. Aug 30, 2015.

Neville Hardman

As Welcome Weekend began wrapping up, hundreds of students gathered Sunday evening for BlastOff on the Student Green and in Risman Plaza.

Tables lined the area, creating crowds of students and activities stretched past the Student Center, including free hot air balloon rides. Different student organizations on campus attempted to attract potential new blood as groups of students passed by.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Alison Bussman, a freshman exploratory major. “When do you get to go in a hot air balloon?”

Bussman made rounds before joining an extensive line for her ride, collecting freebies such as T-shirts, stickers and a goldfish she immediately placed in her room.

“There’s a lot to do,” she said. “There’s a lot of people there.”

As the last gasp of summer before school starts, BlastOff has an air of excitement and energy.

BlastOff is Kent State’s annual back-to-school celebration the day before fall classes start. The event is planned by Undergraduate Student Government, the Center for Student Involvement and the Office of Student Success.

Dakota Steed, a sophomore exploratory major, stood on the grass with a custom-painted longboard, attempting to get students interested in a contest to win it for her business Noble Technique. People had to follow her Instagram page and then were given a raffle ticket. She’ll contact the winner she said.

“This is actually the first year I’m declaring as entrepreneurship,” Steed said, a sophomore exploratory major. “I’m definitely excited to meet all the new students in the program.”

DJ Tyler Boshane opened BlastOff, followed by Ohio Weather Band, playing as students hopped from one table to another.

As the tables were cleared, students flooded the stage on the Student Green for a laser light show sponsored by Undergraduate Student Government.

DJ Mimo headlined, mixing tracks like Bastille’s “Pompeii,” Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.” The only light on the green emanated from the stage and glow sticks worn around student’s necks or twirling in the air.

“I loved the whole feeling of it,” said Kyle Baird, a freshman visual communication design major. “It was like being at a festival back home.”


Contact Neville Hardman at [email protected].