BlastOff! ignites new semester

Jackie Valley

Students still attend annual event despite rainy weather

Fireworks marked the end of BlastOff! and kicked off the beginning of the Fall 2006 semester. LESLIE CUSANO | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

The rain may have soaked the ground, but it failed to dampen students’ spirits at the 11th annual BlastOff! yesterday.

Coordinated by the All Campus Programming Board, in accordance with Week of Welcome, the event introduces students to campus life.

“BlastOff! is the kickoff for the beginning of the school year,” said Shana Scott, president of ACPB. “All the student organizations come out. It’s a good way to meet people and network, especially for freshmen.”

By 6 p.m., the free event at the track was abuzz with hot air balloon rides, inflatable games and musical performances. Hundreds of students roamed the area receiving information from organizations, not to mention the many free giveaways.

Headlining BlastOff! was performer Matt Wertz. Other acts included the Lone Catalysts, The Sass and Rashad.

“With the music, we tried to do more of the local scene,” said Mike Hammond, chairman of concert booking for ACPB. //

Campus organizations from Habitat for Humanity to the Green Dragon Kung Fu Club attended the event, recruiting new members as well as entertaining the students.

“We came out to promote our organization and gain a better understanding of our students,” said Kurt Long, president of the Catholic Student Association.

Kappa Delta Pi also attended, and students received a free pencil or water bottle after spinning a wheel and answering Kent State trivia questions at its booth.

At the Lutheran Campus Ministry booth, Swifty the Clown entertained the crowd and provided students with balloon creations.

J.J. Voelker, a Lutheran Campus Ministry associate, said BlastOff! is a good way for his organization to serve other students.

Seniors Nicole Steward and Megan Oyler – who have attended BlastOff! for the past four years – said it is always a good way to meet people and hang out.

The event concluded with fireworks at 9 p.m., signifying the end of WoW and the beginning of a new school year.

Freshman Matt Dermody said Kent State’s WoW program “sealed the deal” in determining his college.



“I have visited other colleges that did not do as good of a job for freshmen as Kent State,” said Dermody.

Alicia Weaver, junior and WoW coordinator, was shocked at the event’s turnout.

“People actually came,” she said. “It actually worked out.”

Contact news correspondent Jackie Valley at [email protected].