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The Raucous Caucus: The most wonderful time of spring

Illustration By Arnie Bermudez
By Jason Poreda
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, April 12, 2004
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As the dust surrounding the student activity fee settles and everyone relaxes, realizing we don't have to rush this thing into existence, it's ironic we were just treated to the best activity our student government has to offer.

I am of course talking about Spring Fling, the carnival ASUA has put on for 30 years and counting.

It's truly a one-of-a-kind event that can only be found in Tucson.

With all the fuss about getting more events, concerts and speakers here on campus, everyone seemed to forget that Spring Fling, allegedly the largest student-run carnival in the country, was right around the corner.

Jason Poreda
Opinions Assistant

Spring Fling is better than anything the new activity fee would have brought to our campus, and it's something that has become a tradition here.

Go ask any alumnus about Spring Fling, and he'll smile as he tells you a tale of finding a new girlfriend there, the time he rode the Tilt-a-Whirl 50 times or the grueling 36-hour shifts in those cages they call "ticket booths."

I, like so many others, love Spring Fling for all those reasons and so much more.

Ever since I got my first corn on the cob from the folks at the engineering booth and caramel apple from the "candy factory," I couldn't get enough of it.

I look forward to the food, the rides and the atmosphere each and every year.

It's funny how we all forget it's ASUA that puts this thing on every year.

Our student leaders may have things they need to improve or change, but I have to say they throw a mean party every spring regardless of tuition talks, activity fees, election crap or anything else.

Spring Fling still happens.

That is thanks in large part to the very dedicated Spring Fling staff that spends all year calling businesses and setting up for this four-day event.

That said, everyone in ASUA lends a hand to make sure this thing runs smoothly - not to mention the hundreds of other people from all the clubs who run their own booths and man the cashier booths.

Thousands of man-hours are spent during those four days, and God only knows how many more are spent in the months leading up to all the fun.

I sincerely hope you all got to walk around the field this year, as I did.

This was actually the first of my five years here I didn't work at Spring Fling in some capacity.

I didn't have a walkie-talkie attached to my hip or get stuck guarding my bucket like it was Fort Knox, at the risk of answering to the Spring Fling godfather and getting another fine.

It was the first year I just got to enjoy it and walk around as one of the crowd letting it all soak in - and let me tell you, this year Spring Fling was awesome.

I don't care if attendance was down, or less money was earned, or even that it wasn't on campus (something I feel very passionate about, regardless of the logistical problems that may exist).

Just seeing the colorful food booths, the spectacular rides and the games that everyone knows not even Satan himself could win, I was amazed.

It didn't take a $1 million activity fee, a huge debate or a nasty column (wink). All it took was hard work.

With all the things that may be wrong with our student government, this event shows everything that is right with it.

This annual festival of fun, which also helps clubs earn money and get their names out, is something everyone can and should enjoy.

So remember how special it is and how lucky we are to have this Spring Fling here at the UA, and hats off to all the students who gave up their weekends and their Easters to do all this for us.

Jason Poreda is a communication and political science senior. He can be reached at

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