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Davis, California

Monday, May 20, 2024

Welcome celebration continues amid budget cuts

Summer vacation is over and it’s time to hit the books again. But before classes get too stressful, there’s still one last thing to cheer about: The Buzz.

Featuring live entertainment, games, free food and student performers, UC Davis’ largest annual fall welcome celebration is back again Friday to welcome new and returning students alike.

“[The Buzz] is a way for the campus to introduce itself to students,” said Coulson Thomas, one of the co-chairs planning the event. “We want [the students] to know they made a good decision coming to UC Davis.”

The main focus of the night is the live entertainment. This year’s performers include rapper Shawn Chrystopher from Inglewood, Calif., and indie-pop group The Cataracs from Berkeley, Calif., brought to Davis by the Entertainment Council.

“It’s about providing entertainment that our student body can appreciate in person,” said Entertainment Council Director Perry Sanesanong. “We feel that a live presentation of music allows more to be communicated to an audience, through performance and crowd interaction.”

Selecting the artists is a long process that involves putting together comprehensive lists of bands that are generating buzz in their respective genres, Sanesanong said.

“We’re looking into new methods that’ll allow us to get opinions from the student body, as well,” he added.

Planning for The Buzz starts as early as winter quarter the year before, Thomas said. The biggest part is recruiting sponsorships.

With the decreased budget from last year, some elements of The Buzz had to be cut, including the after party that was once a highlight.

“We couldn’t do the after party [last year] and we won’t again this year,” Thomas said. “[But The Buzz is] something where we can’t take too much away or it won’t be fun. We try to find sponsorships and we found some other ways to cut costs.”

But despite the decreased budget, Sanesanong is confident the quality of the event won’t be compromised.

“[The budget has] been reorganized into a system that will streamline the way our funds are used,” he said. “We, as a council, are working to be sure our resources are being allocated efficiently. As such, it shouldn’t factor into the number, or quality, of our performances this year.”

The many music and dance performances of the night include student groups from around campus including the favorite Breakdance Battle as well as a performance by the Cal Aggie Marching Band-Uh!

Sarah Walsh, a sophomore animal science major, explained that The Buzz was an important part of her welcome week last year.

“It really gave me insight as to how many clubs and organizations are really on campus,” she said. “It also helped me get out and explore what Davis has to offer.”

Apart from performances, The Buzz has many other events including a burrito-eating contest sponsored by Taqueria Guadalajara, inflatable games, raffle prizes and henna tattoos. There will also be booths informing students on transitioning into the Davis community.

AKSHAYA RAMANUJAM can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


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