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Labor Day Goes Green

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Students enjoyed many fun activities at Berea College's annual Labor Day.

It seems like everything these days is “going green,” and this year's Labor Day, which fell on Earth Day, April 22, was no different. Aimed at sustainability, Labor Day's theme was also green: “Planting Hard Work for a Greener Tomorrow.”

Students spent the morning hours before lunch sampling ice cream, snow cones, kettle corn and other free Labor Day staples. The Seabury gym was transformed into an arcade of games and booths for students and staff alike to visit and gain knowledge about different labor departments and groups on campus. Also present were booths aimed at educating students about fair trade, recycling and becoming more sustainable, all incorporating the Earth Day mentality.

There was entertainment on hand as well. Labor Day is one of the only days of the year when you can see a professor and a student battling it out on an inflatible obstacle course. Media Services brought a karaoke machine and recording equipment along with their booth so that both talented and not-so-talented students were able to capture their voices and their moves on video. Not only were there booths from clubs and departments, but there was a booth for the senior class as well. “We are trying to raise money for the senior gift” said Rachel Saunders, the executive VP for the Student Government Association.

Lunch presented some surprising additions to the goodies brought by food service. Keeping with the theme of sustainability and the message of Earth Day, Sodexho provided an alternative to plastic silverware by supplying cutlery made out of potatoes--making them biodegradable. The plates were also environmentally friendly and made out of cornstarch. This prompted some students to ask why this alternative was not provided every day at the café or dining services.

As the festivities took off, the fun really began as the students moved from lunch to the activities area where they entered to win prizes and partook in the activities that were set for that day. Students began their experience by grabbing a bag and a card with the list of booths set up around the arena. The booths ranged from the Forestry Department to the Media Services karaoke area. As they went around the room, students participated in a small activities, such as building a keychain or judging the design of a chair, and had their card punched. They could then pick a small prize such as samples from Avon and tee shirts.

There were also huge blow-up structures for competitions including a bungee pull and an obstacle course for participants of all ages. The CAB coordinators invited friends and strangers alike to compete against each other to be the best, or in some cases the worst, with everyone laughing the whole way through.

As the students kept busy at the booths, several groups entertained spectators by displaying their skills. E.Y.C.E. performed in a military fashion, the Middle Eastern Dancers and the African Drum Ensemble also amazed the audience with their footwork and music. As the day began to wind down, the winners of the talent show were asked to perform again. Micah Perkins sang an original song and played his guitar, drawing in onlookers as they clapped in sync with the song. Valton Jackson was a definite crowd pleaser as he mesmerized everyone with his talent in dance which kept every eye on him.

To cap off the afternoon, prizes were given out. The Labor Day coordinators threw out a large amount of tee shirts and other clothes and also gave out mp3 players, DVD players, fishing boxes, a bicycle and various other prizes. All in all, Labor Day continues to prove year after year that there is still one day, between classes and exams, when students can still be kids.

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