UR’s annual Winterfest began on Friday as both the men’s and women’s basketball teams faced off against the University of Chicago Maroons in their respective games and were victorious.

The festival, which is designed to break the winter dreariness, kicked into full gear later that evening with a performance by comedian Pablo Francisco.

Francisco’s show was co-sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and the Spanish and Latino Students Association, both of which provided volunteers at the show.

Francisco, entertaining a sold-out crowd of nearly 1,000 at Strong Auditorium, tackled many issues including the famously inconsistent Rochester weather.

“He was so funny,” freshman Dave Meyer said. “It was a really great way to spend a Fri. night.”

Just an hour after the beginning of Francisco’s performance, Douglass Dining Center was home to the dance party, Fusion.

The party was co-sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and Sigma Beta Rho Fraternity and featured DJ Fatman Scoop mixing songs throughout the night.

With over 600 people in attendance, students reported that lines for the event were out the door and that those who did not have a ticket by Friday night were sent away.

According to the Campus Activities Board there was a wait getting into Fusion because every student’s ID needed to be checked and some students did not even have ID’s.

CAB indicated that it is because of the continued efforts of SBR that DJ Fatman Scoop was able to perform and Fusion was such a success.

Day two of Winterfest featured Pizza Wars in Wilson Commons where students tasted pizza from local vendors.

Attending students also learned about UR Unplugged, a campus-wide energy conservation project sponsored by the Resident Advisors.

During the month of February, the residence hall that saves the most energy during the competition by turning off lights, computers and other electronic devices will earn various prizes, according to UR Unplugged.

UR Unplugged will also offer a bonus prize of $500 which Residential Life will contribute to the April 22 Earth Day celebration if they are impressed with the total energy conservation for all the residence halls.

Also occurring on Sat. evening was the first annual UR Idol in Wilson Commons’s May Room.

UR Idol was sponsored by the Resident Advisors in the lower floors of Susan B. Anthony Halls. Dean of Students Jody Asbury and Assistant Dean of Students Matthew Burns served as guest Idol judges.

“There were more than 200 people in the audience,” Students’ Association President Matthew Goldblatt said. “Plus, Anthony from the Pit was the surprise judge. People really enjoyed his presence, the judges were a huge asset.”

In the end, junior Shane Campbell-Staton earned the honor of being named the first UR Idol. Campbell-Staton wowed the crowd with his beat boxing skills and the next day performed his routine at the basketball against the Washington University in St. Louis Bears.

Later Saturday night, the Pit was transformed into Casino Night, sponsored by the Class Councils and the Campus Activities Board.

Casino Night included two floors of gaming, comprised of poker, black jack and roulette tables in addition to slot machines.

The night also featured DVD giveaways and larger prizes such as tickets to Rochester area sports teams and tickets to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Other events during Winterfest included UR-exclusive skate time at the Genesee Valley Park for $1, Black Student Union’s Step Show and a free screening of the horror classic The Shining in Hoyt Auditorium.

The film’s showing was attended by over 400 members of the UR community.

Overall Winterfest was a sweeping success. “Winterfest is a good break in the middle of the winter,” Goldblatt said. “It takes a few weeks for things to start up after winter break and it helps put everyone on the same page.”Arico can be reached at jarico@campustimes.org.

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