After being put on the back burner the last two year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spring Weekend is officially back in full swing at the University of Connecticut in 2022.
It’s a jam packed weekend full of events, starting on Thursday, April 21 and closing on the night of Saturday April 23.
The Student Union is the place to be for this weekend of fun, as it is hosting nearly every event for the extravaganza. From movies to s’mores, BBQ, festivals and art exhibits, the Union is hosting a diverse array of events every night throughout this vernal weekend.
The main event of UConn’s Spring Weekend is the legendary OOzeball tournament. One of the most distinctive traditions of our university, OOzeball has run for close to 40 years, debuting in 1984, when students first decided to douse UConn’s sand volleyball courts with water, turning them into a muddy sludge. The messy tradition has lasted ever since, becoming one of the key events of the year.
The Daily Campus was lucky enough to speak with two leaders of the Student Alumni Association, the organization that runs OOzeball, President Will Raccio and Vice President of Traditions Hailey Longo, via email.
“[T]he team is generally very excited to host OOzeball for the first time since 2019,” Raccio said. “At the same time, there is also more pressure to succeed than in previous years. If you think about it, 75% of this campus does not know what the event is, or has not seen it given that the last time the event took place occurred when this year’s seniors were freshmen.”
“Everyone in SAA is just so happy to be back on campus together and have the opportunity to plan our normal events,” said Longo. “Being able to host OOzeball once again just is a great indicator that life is going back to normal at UConn and we could not be any more excited to bring back the tradition.”
Every year, OOzeball is based around a certain theme, and this year is no exception.
“[T]his year we chose to follow Spotify Wrapped,” stated Longo. “At the end of the year Spotify comes out with its wrapped playlist that compiles all your favorite songs and artists throughout the years. This year we wanted to remind students of this longstanding tradition and by using this theme we were able to look back on fun OOzeball memories.”
OOzeball is not just one of the most perpetual traditions at UConn, it’s also one of the most popular. Thousands of students have taken to the mud courts in recent years.
“In the past, we have had up to 3,000 students participate in the tradition, of course taking into account what I said before about how “new” our tradition is to many of our students, we are aiming for about 2,000 students,” said Raccio.
The hype is palpable around campus for this event, as the student population has waited years for this keynote event.
“OOzeball is such a fun and different experience,” Longo described. “There is nowhere else you are going to have the opportunity to go play in the mud with your friends and then get prizes for it.”
“OOzeball isn’t about being the best volleyball player; it’s about being with friends, enjoying, laughing, and making memories,” said Raccio. “Students should expect music, giveaways, merch, food sourced from local vendors, and good vibes. It’s going to be a good day to have a good day.”
Registrations are open through the UConn Rec Center website until the end of tonight for OOzeball 2022: OOzeball Wrapped.
To volunteer, students and faculty members can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Spring Weekend 2022, visit the schedule on their website.