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Elliott replaces Luau with Lion Craze during annual Traditions Week

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The annual Luau was replaced with a series of socializing games for incoming freshmen in order to welcome them to the university, make their transition into college easier and  help them connect with fellow freshmen.

The annual Luau was replaced with a series of socializing games for incoming freshmen in order to welcome them to the university, make their transition into college easier and  help them connect with fellow freshmen.
The Lion's Roar/Larshell Green

Traditions events usually occur to reign in the beginning of every fall semester and welcome incoming freshmen. This year Campus Activities Board introduced the new even Lion Craze.

On Sunday, Aug. 14 from 7-8 p.m., students gathered to socialize through ice-breaker games, learn about the history of the university and officially begin their education career as a lion at the Pennington Student Activity Center.

Despite the threat of floods, city curfews and devastation plaguing southern cities, Lion Craze continued. According to Coordinator of Campus Activities Board Nick Elliott, the event was going to continue as long as the Pennington Center stayed open and the facilitator Playfair, which is known for coordinating team-building activities nationwide for colleges and universities, were able to attend.

“There were some students on campus and we wanted them to have something to do,” said Elliott.

Sophomore psychology major Ash’Leightatia Gaines and Resident Assistant urged her residents to attend Lion Craze despite the tragedy and was surprised by the event’s turnout.

“I wanted to see my residents have fun like I did my freshman year,” said Gaines. “This is a pretty decent turnout seeing what the circumstances are in Louisiana.”

This was Elliott’s first year participating in the Traditions celebration on campus. According to Elliott, the past luau was an event that included food, entertainment, performers and inflatable games. 

For Lion Craze, Elliott wanted to focus on moving away from “a passive interaction to an intentional interaction event.” Although some details of the event changed, the focus remained the same for CAB, to teach knowledge of university traditions and provide a warm welcome to students.

“This event is a high-energy, extreme socializing event,” said Elliott. “This is a perfect way for students to make a connection with others on campus. This event will provide a way for students to connect with other students on their first night on campus. During this event, students will also learn a few of our university traditions such as how to Lion Up and the importance of Friendship Oak.”

Freshman biology major and Gonzales native Kyriel Felton decided to commute a week early to get to know the campus and begin socializing with her freshmen classmates.

“It’s fun to meet new people,” said Felton. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know where people are from and learning about different cultures.”

Not all participants expected the drastic change from the atmosphere of past luaus that Lion Craze provided. 

“I think it could be a little childish,” said freshman business administration major Star Torregano. “I know what they’re getting at, they want us to get to know each other and interact. They have good interaction games.”

According to Elliott, he hopes that Lion Craze “will be carried out as a new traditional event during Traditions Week.”

For more information on CAB and their upcoming events, visit the Southeastern homepage, call 985-549-3805 or visit their accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

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