A balloon drop is set for today in the FCCI Rotunda at part of USFSM Week.

USFSM to celebrate with carnival, Student Showcase

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: April 01, 2019

Students, faculty and staff are invited to a week of festivities from a carnival to a student research forum to a celebration of Rocky D. Bull’s birthday as USF Sarasota-Manatee kicks off “USFSM Week.”

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This year’s carnival is set Friday.

Each campus within the USF System is hosting similar weeklong festivities as part of an annual celebration. The events culminate with a free carnival from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail. The carnival is open to the public.

Christine Uphoff, coordinator of fiscal operations and the Campus Activities Board, said students enjoy all of the yearly USFSM Week events, but the carnival, now in its fourth year, draws the biggest crowd.

“For the students, I think their favorite event has turned out to be the carnival because of the time it’s held and the fact that everything is there for them to have fun,” Uphoff said. The event’s timing enables the students “to invite friends and family who don’t usually get to visit the campus.”

Here’s a rundown of USFSM Week events:

  • The party begins today with several activities at the FCCI Rotunda between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Among them, students can design their own stickers, make popsicles and experience a balloon drop.
  • On Tuesday, several Disney-themed activities are planned. Starting at 11 a.m., students can gather in the rotunda to make Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears. Later, a private screening of “Dumbo” will be offered to USFSM students starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Regal Hollywood Stadium 11 Theatre in downtown Sarasota. Forty free tickets are available. Doors open at 7 p.m.
  • On Wednesday, the celebration shifts to the campus courtyard with “Way Back Wednesday.” Students can enjoy an ice cream truck, hopscotch and a life-sized, inflatable “Hungry Hungry Hippo.”
  • On Thursday, USFSM celebrates Rocky D. Bull’s birthday. The congenial bovine is shy about his age and refuses to discuss the subject. However, he’s not shy when it comes to having a party. The fun runs from noon to 3 p.m. in the Student Commons. Students can enjoy casino games, freshly baked cookies and free drinks.
  • On Friday, USFSM Week wraps up with two annual events, both free and open to the public: the “USFSM Student Showcase for Projects, Research and Innovation,” which runs all day; and the USFSM Carnival, which runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The carnival features rides and games for students, faculty, staff and the community.

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