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The Blue & Gray Press | May 22, 2018

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Eagles take off for Beak Week

By MAGGIE KARRS

Students combined service and school spirit during last week’s Beak Week activities. The series of events planned by the Student Government Association (SGA), which serves as a smaller version of Homecoming, took place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week.

Thursday’s event was a Silent Rave in the Underground, where music was broadcast by two DJs through headphones given to attendees upon entering the rave. Students were also given free sunglasses and iPhone amplifiers. The Underground Programming Council (UPC) cosponsored the event.

“I just think it’s really cool that the school puts on this stuff,” said freshman computer science major Ashley Dudek. “The rave was really fun to go to. The music was great; it had a wide variety.”

On Friday night, Giant Productions hosted comedian John Betz, Jr. in the Underground.

The events culminated on Saturday with “Good Neighbor Day,” a community service event where students who signed up to volunteer were broken into teams to do simple landscaping and yard work projects in the Fredericksburg community. Community residents, mostly from the College Heights area, sent in requests for help with various projects prior to the event.

After the teams completed their projects, they came back to campus for a barbecue on Ball Circle that included performances in the Underground by the Cosmonauts and Save the Arcadian, as well as a speech from Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw.

While this is the second year that Beak Week has taken place, Good Neighbor Day is a new SGA initiative.  Over 250 student volunteers participated in Good Neighbor Day, and the SGA hopes the service will continue building a relationship between the University and Fredericksburg community.

Freshman biology major Ethan Lane helped barbecue and grill at the Underground and was surprised by the turnout at the event, despite the bad weather.

“There were a couple of people that we went to their houses to do work that ended up coming to the barbeque and they were definitely very grateful that we could do what we did,” said Lane.  “”I definitely feel that this is something we should do for years to come.”

Both the president of the Community Student Association (CSA) and the SGA director of community outreach programs attended community meetings all year to keep the channels of communication open between the university and the community.

“This past year we’ve seen a lot more positive responses to the university from the community,” said Stephanie Preston, the SGA communications director and SGA president–elect. Preston is a junior history major.

Beak Week also promoted the athletic events taking place over the weekend.

“We’re really trying to put a community aspect into Beak Week,” Preston said. Preston noted that Beak Week will continue to be an annual university event.