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Pumpkin smashing pandemonium: Students take up bats

Attendees+of+the+Student+Government+Expo%2C+smash+pumpkins+on+the+front+lawn+of+Curtiss+Hall+at+the+first+annual+gathering%2C+Nov.+9%2C+2023.
Courtesy of Student Government
Attendees of the Student Government Expo, smash pumpkins on the front lawn of Curtiss Hall at the first annual gathering, Nov. 9, 2023.

As piles of pumpkins sat in the afternoon sun and students had the opportunity to pick a pumpkin and take it to the tarp, Sarah Stewart took a turn at bat.

Stewart and many other students participated in pitching, over-the-head swinging and smashing leftover pumpkins to de-stress.

“I remember when they did the first pumpkin-smashing event back in 2021,” Stewart, a senior in mechanical engineering, said. “This year they have food and a lot more things to look at. You get to talk with people from Student Government; I don’t have a lot of experience interacting with Student Government, and it’s nice.”

Student Government hosted the event Thursday morning in front of Curtiss Hall in a tent where committee members answered questions and served hot chocolate.

“Basically it’s all of the committees and various parts of the Student Government, and we’re out here just recruiting people and trying to spread awareness,” said Jeff Clark, the city council ex-officio and a junior majoring in finance and accounting.

Clark had his own booth to talk about his role as ex-officio and the Senate’s connection to the City Council.

President Jennifer Holliday, a senior in agricultural studies, helped serve hot chocolate and cookies in the center of the tent.

“The point is to interact with students. We as Student Government sometimes don’t get the best interaction with students in relation to what they truly need … We’re putting ourselves out here to get an opportunity to chat with us about their needs,” Holliday said.

Iowa State Student Body President Jennifer Holliday speaks with the attendees of the first annual Student Government Expo, Central Campus, Nov. 9, 2023. (Courtesy of Student Government)

Vice President Quinn Margrett, a sophomore in business economics, echoed sentiments similar to Holliday and Stewart in regard to increasing interactions with the student body.

“One thing I’ve always tried to work on in government is meeting students where they are, and coming to Senate meetings isn’t really accessible,” Margrett said. “It’s … bureaucratic—not a fun thing to do. I … wanted something that was light-hearted on Central Campus where we could meet students in between classes.”

Outside the tent, pumpkin smashing attracted the most attention at the expo. Nicole Wardenburg, a senior in animal science, had never done pumpkin smashing before.

“I thought it was a great way to really spark the interest of others. Obviously, having something like that gets people to immediately come over to [the] tent,” Wardenburg said.

Edwin Bonefont, a graduate student in agriculture and biosystems engineering, said he was also curious about the pumpkin setup.

“I’m excited. I’m definitely going to try it out,” Bonefont said.

The event ended at 2 p.m. with plenty of destroyed pumpkins in the trash bins.

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