On Friday, lines of caution tape blocked off Wilson Quad, preventing students from wandering into the line of fire of the various catapults and cannons next to Wilson Commons.
The occasion was UR’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME’s) annual pumpkin launch.
Junior and events coordinator Jacob Lewis was in charge of the event and noted the precautions he had to set in place in preparation.
“You talk to Public Safety, campus security, coordinate the whole event, and talk to Wilson Commons and the residential areas,” Lewis said.
Due to the caution tape, students flocked to the edges of the quad to watch lots of pumpkins get flung into the air.
Previous Pumpkin Launches were not quite as safe. The event damaged a Drama House window years ago, according to senior and ASME President Will Most. Now, they “judge off of accuracy.”
Senior and emcee of the Pumpkin Launch Stelios Halioris thought the event went swimmingly.
“The first year of COVID[-19], they did a mini pumpkin launch — so they made them out of popsicle sticks and stuff like that, but it’s always fun to see the big event,” he said.
There were three UR-based teams that competed — UR BAJA, Solarsplash, and UR Makers — as well as an RIT ASME team. As a halftime event, Halioris had audience members step up and attempt to launch a pumpkin of their own. Sophomore and CT Photo Editor Micah Bettenhausen shot-putted his pumpkin the farthest — measuring in at 82 feet — but the participant who received the most applause was first-year Abheet Sarkar, who threw his pumpkin a whopping 69 feet.
“I might not have thrown it the farthest, but in a way, I feel like I still won,” said Sarkar.
The RIT team ended up, somewhat ironically, winning the whole thing, but UR Makers were awarded a team spirit award. The team who received the most gasps was BAJA, who launched multiple pumpkins over 300 feet horizontally.