Valencia West Campus holds a colorful Mardi Gras celebration

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Purple, yellow and green were the colors filling the patio outside the SSB building of the West Campus on Tuesday, April 3rd. “We’re trying to see if we can help promote the different clubs around Valencia,” said the Student Government Association’s (SGA) President, Patrick O’Connor.Tables surrounding the patio had sign up sheets and posters advertising different events for different clubs.”We’re about rights awareness,” said Paola Burgos, secretary of the H.E.R.O club. “We deal with social injustice — stuff like sex trafficking.”H.E.R.O is hosting a tour around the UCF medical center on April 20th, as well as hosting a scavenger hunt on the West Campus from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 10 in room 11-106. Other clubs, like the American Chemical Society, had demonstrations for those who walked past their table. Liquid Nitrogen and dry ice was a big factor in the demonstration for the American Chemical Society.Other clubs, like the Gay Straight Alliance club celebrated Mardi Gras by providing colored hair spray to those who passed by. “We promote equality in students, and this is a judgement-free safe zone,” said Vice President, Kimmy Duong.

Not only were there club tables, but there were different activities students could participate in.

Rebecca Ramirez, a first-time mechanical bull rider, shared her feelings about the experience. “It was good, it felt like I signed my life away, but I did it!” Ramirez said. Apart from the mechanical bull, students could also sit down and get caricatures of themselves drawn.

Food and prizes played a big factor in Thursday’s activity. Students were able to go to the different tables and sign up with the club, then receive a raffle ticket. With the raffle tickets, students received food, beads, or even a Mardi Gras hat.

“I volunteered to help out pass out beads and stuff,” said nursing major, Claudine Jean. “I know some of the SGA members, so they let me help out.”
Around noon, candidates for SGA president were able to promote themselves.

“I know what the people want,” said Presidential candidate, Symone Ray. “I like to take charge.” Students were able to ask questions to each of the candidates in order to get a feel for what they were each about. Paola Burgos, secretary of Valencia’s club H.E.R.O, asked what set each apart from the other to be the better candidate.

“I have four years in the military,” said Evan King. “I work better under pressure.”