Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Recreation Committee hosts School-Astic, brings nostalgia to students

Darby Tippit
First-year mechanical engineering masters student Anastasia Timoshenko collects a token at one of the fair tables while fellow students watch. At the event, students had opportunities to answer questions and engage in activities to earn tokens for prizes.

Winding down after studying for midterms, a wave of nostalgia washed over students as they immersed themselves in a world of fun-colored school supplies, book-related activities and entertaining contests taking place in the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom.

Last Wednesday, the Campus Events + Entertainment Recreation Committee hosted School-Astic: an event mimicking the Scholastic Book Fair students might have experienced in elementary school which makes reading fun by offering interesting ways to discover books. 

“Recreation has been wanting to focus on nostalgia this year,” said Abraham Rodriguez, mathematics senior and chair of the Recreation Committee. “We really think (nostalgia) is the focal point for students to feel a sense of belonging at UT … and this (event) is the perfect correlation for that.”

Similar to Scholastic Book Fairs in elementary school, where students splurge on books and novelty trinkets, the Recreation Committee provided tokens to attendees who participated in activities. Participants then exchanged tokens to obtain prizes including unique-shaped erasers, bendy pencils and invisible ink markers similar to those from the Scholastic Book Fair.

“We were trying to get people to (have those experiences) again while they are in college,” said Roberto Martinez, journalism sophomore and School-Astic Event Coordinator.

Activities at the event, sanctioned by the Recreation Committee and invited student organizations, included journal decorating, origami books, magic tricks, a bookmark-making contest and a station where people could leave and take books for keeping. One of UT’s book clubs, Between the Lines, hosted a station where participants crafted miniature books for keeping.

“I enjoyed (partaking in the event),” said Bindi Kaplan, sociology sophomore and president of Between the Lines. “The prizes were very nostalgic of the Scholastic Book Fair. I got one of those erasers that were popular in elementary that came apart, those were great.”

Keeping the elementary school theme, additional activities included Accelerated Reader tests, book-themed Kahoot Quizzes, a spelling bee and a storytime featuring chapters from a Goosebumps book while attendees sat on a playful rug. Competition winners were rewarded with books from popular series including The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Dune and The Maze Runner.

“I thought (the spelling bee) was super fun because a lot of people were telling me ‘I lost the spelling bee in elementary school and I was so salty about it,’ so this (was) my chance to bring it back,” Martinez said.

The Recreation Committee plans to hold two more events before the semester ends. One will collaborate with the Showtime Committee, and the other is ChillFest, an annual event on the last day of classes for students to unwind with de-stressing activities.

“I like to say it’s not a committee, it’s a community,” Rodriguez said. “(Events+Entertainment) is where I found my sense of belonging and that is why I really want to focus on being able to help other people find (theirs) in our events this year.” 

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