USF Week events return in person

The Center for Student Involvement coordinated a series of festivities, such as Bullstock and Rocky’s Birthday Bash, to commemorate USF week. ORACLE PHOTO/ALEXANDRA URBAN

As the first in-person USF Week since 2019, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) and Campus Activities Board (CAB) coordinated a variety of events for students to celebrate.

The week’s festivities begin on Monday and run through Saturday, or more notably, USF Day. While some events will be online — such as the USF Day social media challenges — the vast majority will be in person and hosted for one night only. 

Activities will begin on Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Amphitheater for the traditional USF Week Kickoff. At the beginning of the event, attendees will hear from a group of speakers from university leadership about the importance of school pride.

Following the speaker presentations, students will have the opportunity to paint wooden USF-themed crafts at a DIY station and participate in a “USF Traditions” Kahoot for special prizes, according to graduate assistant for Campus Traditions Shirley Daniels. In addition to the prizes given to the top three winners of the Kahoot, she said attendees will be offered a variety of promotional items. 

On Tuesday evening there will be a University Lecture Series (ULS) in the MSC Ballroom featuring actress Stephanie Beatriz, best known for her role as Detective Rosa Diaz in the comedy television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The event will be from 8-9 p.m.

While Beatriz will discuss her various acting roles, she is also expected to speak about her experience in advocating for LGBTQIA representation in the entertainment industry as a bisexual Latina, according to graduate assistant for Bull’s Nite Out Hannah Sutherland. 

Although there will not be any promotional items offered at the event, Sutherland said CAB will be offering students the chance to participate in a giveaway for special prizes. 

For students looking to continue their entertainment following the ULS, Wednesday’s Ultimate Bull Talent Show will provide attendees the opportunity to watch students compete to win the “Ultimate Bull” title. 

With 10 students participating in the competition, the performances offered will vary from musical acts to demonstrative pieces such as stand-up comedy and dancing. The talent show will be judged by a panel of three individuals, according to Daniels. 

The panel of judges will be composed of 2022 Scholarship Pageant winner Jailynn Youmas, Director of vocal ensembles in the school of music Allyssa Jones and 2021 Ultimate Bull talent show runner-up Lorry Saint-Vil, according to Daniels. Hosting the event will be Brittany Gordon, a student and member of the Caribbean Culture Exchange and Jamaican Alliance Movement. 

The event will take place from 8-10 p.m. in the MSC Oval Theater. It will cost around $5,000 to run, according to Daniels, with pricing including prizes for the competitors and promotional fees. 

Thursday’s event will celebrate the birthday of USF’s beloved mascot, Rocky the Bull, with a night of fun. Hosted on the MSC Bookstore Lawn, Rocky’s Birthday Bash will include various activities for students to take a trip “under the sea” to celebrate their mascot, such as riding a mechanical shark and practicing surfing skills on a surf simulator.

Those looking to receive promotional items from the event have the opportunity to bring canned goods to the Office of Annual Giving’s collection box, where students will receive a DIY kit in exchange for their donation. Rocky’s Birthday Bash will occur from 8-11 p.m. and is expected to carry a price tag of $12,000, including total event costs, rentals and promotional fees, according to Daniels. 

Friday will conclude USF Week’s in-person activities with Bullstock, or USF’s annual spring music festival. Headlining musical acts will include both Battle of the Bands student winners and performances from DREAMERS, Olivia O’Brien and Neon Trees. 

Given that this year’s event is the first in-person Bullstock celebration since 2019, CAB Coordinator Alexis Fuentes Roman said he is excited for students to be able to experience the series of performances in a traditional concert format. 

“We are excited to announce a traditional spring concert again, with food trucks and carnival rides,” he said. “It follows a similar type of setup and layout as we have done in the past … and we are following a similar type of talent [with] alternative music.” 

The event will take place from 5 p.m. to midnight in Lot 35, providing students a seven-hour window to participate in a variety of Bullstock festivities. In addition to the musical acts, CAB will be hosting carnival activities, T-shirt giveaways and food trucks for students throughout the night. 

Being the most expensive event of the week, the cost of Bullstock totals to approximately $124,100, which includes event fees, promotion and rental costs, according to Fuentes Roman. 

All of the week’s events will conclude with USF Day on Saturday. As an entirely social media-based celebration, students will be able to participate in a series of activities on Instagram, including story challenges, games and giveaways. For more information on the activities, students should follow posts from USF CAB’s account as USF Day approaches. 

As USF Week and its events return in person, Fuentes Roman said he hopes students will be able to join together to celebrate a collective sense of school spirit. 

“The purpose of this event … is to increase awareness on USF Day and USF Week and have our students be proud of being USF Bulls,” he said.