Student Appreciation Week Recap

Review of events for student appreciation week


Anna Hohowski, Staff Writer

In a week packed with prizes, performances, and popup events, PennWest California’s Student Appreciation Week took place this past Sunday through Saturday, Nov. 6-12.

Monday began with the kickoff Instagram giveaway, where over 50 students entered to win a pair of tickets to either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Pittsburgh Steelers by commenting under a post on the Student Government Instagram page. A food truck also parked outside of the Natali Student Center, giving students a new dining option for the night.

The following day included a performance in the Vulcan Theater by Derrick Knopsnyder, comedian and Cal U alumni.

The week’s events were coordinated by the Student Government Association. SGA President, Derrek Harshberger, said that he had a dream to aim high for this year’s week of events.  With a week that he expressed was much bigger and better than in past years, he says that he achieved this goal.

“This week is important to students because, truthfully, without our students I wouldn’t be in the position I have today. We owe it to our students to provide fun and free activities,” Harshberger said.

On Wednesday, the campus saw more popup events including a bakery lunch inside Gold Rush, a pancake night with the New Life Club in Carter Hall, and rock painting with the Geology Club in the Airport Lounge in Natali. The night concluded after Bingo Night at 8 p.m. in the Natali Food Court.

Students arrived at Bingo Night with the expectation that they would be awarded gift cards as prizes. However, they later learned that the final round’s prize was a TV and a $50 gift card.

Freshman Apson Basnat said he was looking forward to the games and prizes the most.

“I’m always looking for something fun to do around campus, so of course I showed up to Bingo Night,” Basnat said. “I was hoping to win the TV, but I still had fun.”

At 11 a.m. on Thursday outside of Natali, students saw another food truck, and they were also able to enter another Instagram giveaway by posting a question for Student Government. Later that night, Cal Pepsi hosted a non-alcoholic Mix Off at 6 p.m. outside of the Natali Performance Center, and the night concluded with a movie-themed Underground Cafe.

At the Mix Off, Greek Life organizations and other clubs brought awareness to sobriety by creating mocktails as students tasted and ranked their favorite drinks. While several categories of awards were presented, the Sustainability Club won the award of “Best Overall.”

On Friday, the Student Government Association celebrated Veterans Day by paying for 50 free lunches in the Gold Rush for Veterans. Alpha Sigma Alpha also hosted a cornhole tournament at 6 p.m. with prizes of $25 Amazon gift cards.

Sophomore Jennifer Joyce, a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha, expressed that Student Appreciation Week kept her and her sorority sisters busy around campus.

“We competed in the Mix Off, and we hosted the cornhole tournament…,” Joyce said. “I just love spending time with my sorority sisters, and a big part of why I joined was to be involved in fun events around campus like this. Also, I can’t forget to mention how nice it’s been to have the food trucks around, because I definitely needed a break from the dining hall.”

Harshberger remarked that he and the Student Government are already in the process of planning events for next semester’s Student Appreciation Week.

“The best part about this week is seeing everyone come together. We hope students take this time to network with people and create new and exciting friendships, or even meet a new bingo buddy,” Harshberger said.