Mechanical Bull Invades Homecoming



Each year, UB offers students and their families the chance to discover the university together through a weeklong celebration of school spirit culminating in Family and Homecoming Weekend. This year's festivities will take place Oct. 8-14.

"Family weekend is a special opportunity for parents to share part of their student's UB experience, meet their friends, and spend time together in a setting that has become a significant place in their student's life," said Sonia Cinelli, student programming coordinator for the Office of Student Union and Activities.

Osman Soofi, a resident advisor in the Governors complex, said, "Family weekend helps build a stronger community on campus because the students who live in the residence halls are welcoming their parents and family to their new home."

Spirit Week, the first part of the celebration, will begin Monday, Oct. 8. As part of the hoopla, 50 students will spend a day and night living on Lee Loop Island in a UB spin-off of the popular TV show "Survivor."

Interviews will soon be held for those interested in participating in the series, although the date has not yet been established.

"The activities surrounding Survivor and Spirit Week, and the events composed in Family and Homecoming weekend, and all the other campus activities, make students feel a part of UB, creating a common bond while capturing students' school spirit and pride," said Rob Suglia, student relations coordinator in the Division of Athletics and the person in charge of Survivor at UB.

Spirit Week will continue with the lighting of a bonfire at Baird Point at sundown Friday, Oct. 12. The bonfire will conclude with a tented carnival at the same location. For those seeking a more mellow atmosphere, the Jazz Coffee House will offer live jazz, java, music and desserts in room 145 of the Student Union from 8 to 10 p.m.

Homecoming Day, Oct. 13, will begin at 10:30 a.m. in UB Stadium with the free pre-game Jamboree, open to the entire university community. Advertised as "the greatest pre-game party ever," the Jamboree will feature food, prizes, and the return of the mechanical bull, sponsored by both the Division of Athletics and the Student Association.

This season's football opener against Rutgers broke the previous record-high attendance of 3,000 students at last year's homecoming by more than twice the amount of people with a total of 6,144 attending. Suglia anticipates another record high at this year's Homecoming.

The UB Bulls will face Marshall's Thundering Herd with kickoff at 1 p.m. For UB students admission is free, but the cost of admission is $10 for the rest of the university and the Western New York community.

According to Athletic Affairs Director Marino Then, SA will present what he called "school spirit through student unity and solidarity" at halftime with a parade of SA student organizations behind the marching band holding banners up against the sky.

UB's Homecoming King and Queen will also be crowned during the game.

For those interested in some comic relief, Kevin James, star of the TV sitcom "The King of Queens," will entertain crowds in a post-game comedy show in Alumni Arena at 8 p.m. The admissions fee for UB students is $15. The charge for all other guests is $17. Tickets may be sold at the door, if seats are still available. Last year's comedy show, featuring Jeanine Garafolo, hosted a sell-out crowd.

Last year, $3,000 from the comedy show's proceeds was donated to the United Ways State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) Campaign, an organization that collects contributed funds and allocates them to various charity and community service organizations in Western New York.

The weekend caps off with a brunch from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday in Pistachio's Restaurant in the Student Union. The cost will be $9 for UB students, faculty and staff.

For members of the UB community interested in the weekend activities that require registration - specifically, the football game, the comedy show, and the brunch - registration must be done prior to Oct. 4, although UB students are not required to register for the football game. Ticket and refund requests must also be made by Oct. 4.

Online registration is available at http://www.student-affairs.buffalo.edu/activities/familyreg.shtml. Registration is also possible via the Homecoming Brochure, which contains descriptions of all the events, available in the SA office and the Office of Student Unions and Activities.

Tickets to the Homecoming game and the comedy show are for sale in the Sub Board I ticket office and online at http://www.alumniarenaboxofficetickets.com. For further information call 645-6125 or e-mail ubparent@acsu.buffalo.edu.