Students crowded into Cal State Long Beach’s parking lot 3 Friday night to enjoy carnival rides, live music and food at the 16th annual Smorgasport.
Located between the University Student Union and the kinesiology building, the typically car-filled lot was cleared out and flooded with bright lights, food trucks and smiling students as Associated Students Inc. provided entertainment in the parking lot and free games at the USU.
“The idea behind the event is culminating the Week of Welcome and giving students a chance to socialize, hang out and relax,” said Philip Spektor, one of 25 student President’s Ambassadors.
“They can come out and celebrate the start of the year.”
As a President’s Ambassador, Spektor represents the university and CSULB President Jane Close Conoley.
Two years ago, Smorgasport had an attendance of about 5,000 students and last year’s attendance was around 6,000.
“I would say it was a massive turnout this year, and perhaps it even topped last year,” Spektor said.
Smorgasport was also an opportunity for student organizations to recruit new members.
Unlike Week of Welcome, which usually hosts over 300 organizations, Smorgasport had about 50 clubs present, which allowed the respective groups to have more visibility at the event. Club sports including men’s and women’s soccer showcased their talents, and the Salsa Club showed off its dance moves.
Meanwhile, the Lacrosse Club had students lined up trying to get a lacrosse ball into the back of a net.
Smorgasporters were able to get physical as well and bring out their inner kid in an inflatable jump house or knock each other out in an inflatable boxing ring – oversized boxing gloves included.
Computer engineering graduate student Kuldeep Luvani said he enjoyed bowling and billiards at the USU Games Center.
Those bold enough could race against one another inside Zorb balls, which can only be described as giant inflatable hamster balls. Afterwards, students could go to the photo booth and use props such as Kanye-inspired glasses, Viking helmets and mustaches for a picture together.
“I came a little late but I was a bit relieved because I heard that the lines were too long,” junior marketing major Jeannine Aguilar said.
There was a limited number of Smorgasport shirts given away and attendants lined up in front of Brotman Hall for over an hour to try and grab one. Students also received a raffle ticket for various prizes, including an HD radio.
Aguilar complimented the displays of campus talent and unity, highlighting why Smorgasport has lasted so long
“I think it’s a good way to show Beach pride,” Aguilar said.