This past week, New Paltz hosted Orange & Blue week — five days of activities geared towards creating a more unified student body. From club sponsored events to swag bag giveaways, there was so much to see and do on campus to show off your New Paltz pride. In exchange for attending events, students were entered into a raffle chosen at the end of the week, receiving a New Paltz gift basket.
The week of festivities began on Monday, where students were encouraged to wear blue or orange around campus to show their school spirit. Hugo the Hawk was strolling around and giving out prizes to those who participated. From 12-5 p.m. the Student Union Building (SUB) hosted an event in which students were informed more about the organizations serving students and were given fun New Paltz merch.
The following day, the New Paltz Music Collective (NPMC) hosted an open mic night in the Multipurpose Room (MPR) of the SUB. From 6-8 p.m., peers showcased their performance skills to a welcoming audience. In their usual fashion, the NPMC had a great turnout and everyone in attendance was enthralled by the performances.
“The open mic was an idea that was pitched to me,” NPMC president Alli Dempsey, fourth-year journalism major, remarked. “Two employees for the Center for Student Engagement reached out to me and asked if we wanted to do a collaborative event with them. I was enthusiastic because we have been meaning to have another open mic for a while since our one last year was successful. I also thought that collaborating with another organization would be the perfect way to promote our name further on campus, one of our semester goals for the collective.”
The Center for Student Engagement (CSE) set up the MPR with chairs facing the stage. An array of different snacks and drinks were given out and a raffle was featured to win a prize.
Students were invited to sign up to perform upon arrival, and those who were in the audience had the opportunity to sit back, enjoy snacks and the show.
“A total of eight performances happened, each clocking in at around three songs per performer,” Dempsey shared. “The range of performances was really cool — there was a solo bass performance, a ukulele improvisation song, a lot of acoustic covers and even a full band debut set.”
From full bands to solo showcases, the MPR was dazzled with talent. Lost Navigator, the newest band in the New Paltz music scene, made their debut at the open mic and gained some traction and prospective fans.
“The most memorable moment to me was probably the debut set of Lost Navigator — a new student band. I didn’t know that it was their first live performance until after their set, so it meant a lot that they wanted to do it at our event,” Dempsey stated. Some people didn’t know it was their first performance as a band because of how talented these individuals were. If you’re looking for a new band to support in town, look no further.
“I was a little nervous because I had to learn how to operate the soundboard, but the sound stayed pretty solid all throughout the night,” Dempsey remarked. “Everyone stuck around until the end, and performers who had their go already even wanted to do an encore set which was fun to see.”
On Wednesday, the CSE hosted a paint and sip event in the SUB from 1-4 p.m. The relaxing event was aimed towards relieving some stress by inviting students to have a sweet drink and get out anxiety through crafting a painting. Participants had a blast showcasing their creative side in an easygoing and non judgemental environment.
Thursday’s festivities were partnered with the New Paltz Smash Club, in which a Video Game Night was hosted in the MPR from 6-8 p.m. From board games to Super Smash Bros, many different activities were available to have peers engaged in games with each other. The CSE provided snacks and the chance to win swag bags through raffles.
“The event went really well,” first-year Smash Club member James Cantalupi remarked. “We had a lot of people playing our setups, whether it was Smash Ultimate or Wii Party! It went as expected, which is epic.”
Around 50 people were in attendance, which is a wonderful turnout for this event. “We had two setups for our club’s main focus, Super Smash Bros Ultimate,” Cantalupi stated. “Along with a Wii setup for a variety of games. I saw Mario Kart and Wii Party being played. There [were] also a bunch of board games and such.”
Whether a seasoned gamer or just playing for fun, everyone was having a great time showing off their competitive side. Members of the Smash Club were excited to partner with the CSE to host and allow for more people to see what their club is all about.
“New Paltz Smash Club has a thriving community, whether it be current students or alumni,” Cantalupi shared. “We have people that graduated years ago that still come to our monthly events. We are a tight knit group that loves this game and it’s a really great place to make lifelong friends.”
To conclude the week of fun events, the CSE held their final raffle on Friday, which gave students the opportunity to win a SUNY New Paltz swag basket. The creative array of collaborative activities allowed for the community to come together to make new friends, eat some snacks and take time away from the stress of classes. Everyone who participated in activities throughout the week had a great time while showing off their New Paltz pride and school spirit.