Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rhode Island Springfest 2007 Huge Hit

'Bottoms up' on Quad as SEC hosts Mocktails
Robert Preliasco

Pina coladas were served on the University of Rhode Island Quadrangle last evening for perhaps the first time in 10 years - sans alcohol, of course.

Cold temperatures couldn't keep students away from the Mocktails event, part of the Student Entertainment Committee's Springfest 2007.

Students could purchase a pint or martini glass for $1, entitling them to unlimited drinks, which were served by different student groups. The 19 groups present at the event filled those glasses in a variety of ways, serving a unique invention or a non-alcoholic take on a classic.

The SEC booth served "Josh Blue Rozberries" - containing 7UP and blue raspberry mixer - in honor of comedians Josh Blue and Roz, who will perform on campus tomorrow.

One of the most popular drinks was "The Purple Jesus," created by Origins, the campus Christian intervarsity fellowship.

"People like the name of the drink. We've served a lot of them," Origins Treasurer Ryan Lospaluto said."

A lot of the groups made [their drink] connect to their organization or an event they have coming up," said Vidhi Shah, SEC secretary treasurer and the event's primary organizer.

The Student Alumni Association served mudslides to promote the annual "Oozeball" tournament, where teams play volleyball in the mud.

Other drinks that were served included strawberry daiquiris by the National Society of Black Engineers, and mohitos served by the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Exotic morir sonandos were mixed by "Keep a Child Alive," a group that raises funds to provide medicine to children throughout the world.

"Morir sonando" translates roughly from Spanish to mean "to die dreaming." It is composed of orange juice, milk and a dash of vanilla. The drink is meant for relaxation in Latin American countries said group members Karina Luna and Kirsy Melo, both from the Dominican Republic.

Group leaders said they were excited for the opportunity to advertise while enjoying refreshments.

"I think it's great," Chris Kunzmann, vice president of recruitment for Sigma Phi Epsilon, said. "There's a lot of people here and it's good publicity for all the groups." Other group leaders agreed. "We've gotten a lot of positive feedback for our group," said Mary Colman, SAA vice president.

More than 100 students attended Mocktails, as estimated based on the number of glasses sold.

The SEC purchased 350 glasses of both the pint and martini varieties, and sold out of martini glasses before the hour-long event was over.

"The martini glasses were a big hit," Amy McDermott, SEC advertising president, said.

The glasses were printed with the James Bond "007" logo, complete with iconic PPK pistol, coming off an imprinted "2007." The phrase "Springfest Royale" appears just below.

"The turnout was really good - a lot better than we expected because it's cold out," McDermott said.

And on the campus of a formerly notorious party school, no one seemed interested in "spiking" the drinks."I think [Mocktails] is a way to see that you can have fun without having alcohol in a drink," freshman Ashley Farnham said.

The SEC originally planned to screen the movie Smokin' Aces on the Quad at 7:30 p.m. after Mocktails concluded, but it was postponed until April 23 due to the cold weather.