Laughter, music and cheering carried through the cool afternoon breeze Thursday, Nov. 15 as students took part in games and pizza at the university’s inaugural Jagsgiving in the courtyard of the Central Academic Building.
The recreational sports department sponsored the event, which served as a give-back to students before Thanksgiving break. Kinesiology majors Vanessa Young and Miguel Frausto co-hosted Jagsgiving as part of their internship with the department.
Young, standing behind a table stacked with pizzas, greeted newcomers. Helping students sign in, she explained that not only would they get a slice of pizza, but their name would be entered into a raffle drawing. Prizes ranged from T-shirts to the grand prize of a Bluetooth speaker with a hard-shell case and a Texas A&M University-San Antonio backpack filled with small prizes.
Adjacent to the sign-in table, basketballs were flying as students participated in an inflatable, life-sized game of Connect Four Shoot and Score. The game stood about 12 feet tall.
Four students played while a cluster of people stood off to the side watching and commenting as the game unfolded. The sound of music was barely audible over the sound of bouncing balls and squeaking sneakers.
In the center of the courtyard, a game of 9 Square In The Air was taking place. The game mixes setting in volleyball with four-square rules.
Students squealed, laughed and yelped as they tried to keep the airborne ball from touching the ground.
“Think of four square on the ground, but now it’s in the air hanging with PVC pipes,” Frausto said. “The reason why I got this was because it was something different,” Frausto said. “I’ve never seen it before at any high school, college, elementary, you name it so I thought it would be something the students would want to interact in.”
The presence of the games not only provided fun for students, but also drew attention of those walking by.
“I saw about the event on the school website, but I didn’t know where it was. B ut I saw the big inflatable,” cyber security junior Italia Schmidt said. “I’m glad I did. It was fun.”
Communications senior Rebecca Hernandez said she found out about Jagsgiving through JagSync. But what ultimately caught her attention was the inflatable Connect Four game she saw when leaving class.
Hernandez said she was walking with a group of friends when an event volunteer roped the group into playing a game of 9 Square in the Air.
“I ended up playing a lot longer than I expected,” Hernandez said.
For students like business senior Jesse Ayala, the pizza was incentive enough.
“The pizza got my attention,” he said, holding a slice after participating in Connect Four. He said the game “gave me a rush.”
Young and Frausto started organizing the event at the beginning of the semester. Part of their senior project required them to each put together an event for the department. They decided to host one together to increase turnout, while also making it easier to find a date to schedule the event.
“We definitely wanted to bring the students together,” Young said of hosting Jagsgiving. “We wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving and the break coming up.”
Business senior Juan Enriquez was just happy he finally got to take part in an event held on campus.
“I saw the crowd and was like, ‘What’s going on over there?’ These activities usually never work out for me because I usually have to go to work,” Enriquez said.
For Young, the turnout for an event she helped to promote and put on was good, but she acknowledged that one factor definitely helped.
“I think it’s pretty good,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of people come in so far. I think it also helps that we have pizza.”