Students celebrated being at Northwest with free food, t-shirts and other activities during Student Activities Council’s Northwest Week April 1-5.
Northwest Week started as “I love Northwest Week” in 1991 by Student Senate as a way for students to celebrate their time at Northwest. It has occurred every year since.
The week started with a petting zoo near the Memorial Bell Tower Monday. Paramount Pony Petting Zoo provided the animals which included a miniature horse, small silkie chickens, pygmy goats and small rabbits.
The petting zoo was closed in a fence which allowed about 20 students in at a time, and 235 students entered the fence during the two hours it was open. Other students stood around the fence to look at the animals on their way to class.
Freshman Lucy Kitta heard about the petting zoo from her friend who received extra credit in zoology class for stopping by. It was her favorite event of the week because she plans to work with animals after college.
“I love farm animals, so I said, ‘I’m here. I’m ready to pet them,’” Kitta said, holding a chicken. “This is so great.”
Free tacos and nachos were provided by The Casual Foodie food truck Tuesday. Students filled out their order on a small sheet of paper and waited 20-30 minutes for their meal. There were 250 meals available, and they were given out in less than two hours.
Graduate student Jesse Perez was in line for the food truck more than 10 minutes before it opened.
“If anything involves food, I’m more than likely to show up,” Perez said. “Last year, I know we had a barbeque, so it’s kind of nice that they’re like mixing up the food choice a little bit.”
SAC handed out 500 t-shirts and 600 buttons Wednesday in the J.W. Jones Student Union Living Room. Students could also write things they love about Northwest on small pieces of paper to create a chain. The finished chain represented student connections across Northwest.
SAC’s Northwest Traditions Director Brady Netzel was most excited for the button giveaway because he designed them.
“This is the first time SAC has ever handed out free buttons with the SAC logo on it,” Netzel said. “I’m excited to give those away because I’m a big button guy. I always have a different button on. It’s really cool to give everybody else a button.”
Students may create wax hand molds from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday on the second floor of the Union. Their hands will be dipped in a vat of wax then let the mold harden. Then students can personalize their wax hands by dipping them in different colors.
“It’s super simple, but it’s like a really cool souvenir gift that people love to have,” Netzel said.
Southern folk and soul musician Sam Burchfield performs live 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday in the Union Living Room.
Free donuts will be given out beginning at 7:30 a.m. Friday in various buildings including Colden Hall, the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation, the Garrett-Strong Science Building, the Union, the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building, Valk Center and Wells Hall.
SAC has given out donuts every Friday of Northwest Week it has organized. Another tradition is the Twitter scavenger hunt that occurs throughout the week. SAC will post riddles on its Twitter, @NW_SAC, at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day for students to find locations or objects around campus.
The first person to reply to the tweet with a selfie at the correct place receives a gift card to a restaurant in Maryville.
SAC spent more than $8,000 on Northwest Week, Netzel said. A committee helped Netzel bring the different events to campus, and he used his budget to make it happen.
“Northwest Week is for the students, by the students,” Netzel said. “We get our funding from the students, so we always try to make our events and everything we bring to campus for the students.”