Student clubs find high expectations, high payoff for Spring Fling participation
A view of the line-up of student booths at Spring Fling April 8 on the UA Mall. Student clubs and other groups are subject to several rules and fines for compliance with Spring Fling operations.
Clubs play a major role in the success of Spring Fling, acting as the food and game booths that make up the carnival. According to business economics junior and Spring Fling Club Director Grant Rees, there were 33 clubs working in booths this year, 21 in food and 12 in games.
To be selected to host a booth, clubs must go through an application process, starting in September, where they earn points based on certain criteria, including design and food ideas, how many members the club has and situational questions like what members would do if they ran out of food and what they will do with the money raised.
“Pretty much any club can be involved, as long as you have enough people that are dedicated enough to do that time, because it’s a huge time involvement,” Rees said. “We want to make sure that a club really cares about this fundraising opportunity because we can’t have clubs that are half-hearted about it.”
Clubs can earn upward of $2,000 to $3,000 during Spring Fling. However, the club has to have enough money in their club funds to pay for supplies. They also need to make sure the food is safe to eat and up to health code standards.
Honors College Ambassadors spent about $700 for equipment and food for their funnel cake booth.
“It really wasn’t difficult to get all of the supplies,” said biomedical engineering senior and HCA fundraising chair Sajani Jivan. “We just had to go to a lot of different stores. It is also hard to judge how much food to buy because you don’t know for sure how many people will buy the funnel cakes.”
The UA Cycling club earns $750 from the Green Fund—a fund that gives money to support sustainability-related projects—for running a bike valet for the festival. They work with the Parking and Transportation Office to get the bike corrals and racks set up, and the club provides the manpower to staff it.
Although Spring Fling closes if the weather conditions are poor, according to their policies online, UA Cycling club members had to staff the valet during a rainstorm last year.
“Last year, Sunday it rained the entire time, so that was fun,” said graduate students and UA Cycling President Joey Iuliano. “Luckily, there was a pop-up tent we could hang out underneath, but being out in the pouring rain for the better part of five hours was not very pleasant, especially because we had to stick around until like 7 [in the evening] for people to get their bikes after [the festival] closed.”
Before club members can work a booth, they must undergo multiple trainings, such as cashier training.
“You get the experience of working in a carnival,” political science junior and Spring Fling Marketing Director Josler Tudisco said. “A lot of the time with club volunteers we do cashier training, so they get a lot of different feels through this whole process.”
To enforce deadlines and rules, clubs can be charged fines. Things they could be charged for include not completing training, missing initial paperwork deadlines, not showing up to their booths and skipping Spring Fling meetings.
There are even more rules to comply with because the Associated Students of the University of Arizona teams up with Ray Cammack Shows to provide some food booths and rides.
“The only downside is that the RCS company has a lot of rules,” Jivan said. “Sometimes it is hard to remember that we work for them and not the other way around.”
Lastly, clubs get to meet members of other clubs in a friendly carnival environment and find out what everyone else is doing around campus. The carnival is another way for clubs to get exposure and new members.
“Spring Fling is an incredible opportunity as a way to support the UA clubs and organizations. That’s really what we’re all about here,” Tudisco said. “All the money that we make goes back into that.”
Clubs have to weigh the pros and cons and decide if working Spring Fling is actually worth it for them.
For HCA, it is definitely worth it.
“It is HCA’s biggest fundraiser of the year,” Jivan said. “All the hard work is worth it in the end. Also now I’m really good at making funnel cakes.”
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