USU kicks off year with Matafest

Diana+Lin%2C+21%2C+accounting+major+sits+for+Kelcie+Gruenberg+who+has+been+drawing+caricatures+for+nine+years.+Students+were+given+the+opportunity+to+be+drawn+for+free+during+the+Hawaiian+themed+Matafest+at+the+USU+on+Wednesday.+Photo+Credit%3A+Mariela+Molina+%2F+Visual+Editor
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USU kicks off year with Matafest

Diana Lin, 21, accounting major sits for Kelcie Gruenberg who has been drawing caricatures for nine years. Students were given the opportunity to be drawn for free during the Hawaiian themed Matafest at the USU on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Mariela Molina / Visual Editor

Diana Lin, 21, accounting major sits for Kelcie Gruenberg who has been drawing caricatures for nine years. Students were given the opportunity to be drawn for free during the Hawaiian themed Matafest at the USU on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Mariela Molina / Visual Editor

Diana Lin, 21, accounting major sits for Kelcie Gruenberg who has been drawing caricatures for nine years. Students were given the opportunity to be drawn for free during the Hawaiian themed Matafest at the USU on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Mariela Molina / Visual Editor

Diana Lin, 21, accounting major sits for Kelcie Gruenberg who has been drawing caricatures for nine years. Students were given the opportunity to be drawn for free during the Hawaiian themed Matafest at the USU on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Mariela Molina / Visual Editor

Abbey Seltzer

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Diana Lin, 21, accounting major sits for Kelcie Gruenberg who has been drawing caricatures for nine years. Students were given the opportunity to be drawn for free during the Hawaiian themed Matafest at the USU on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Mariela Molina / Visual Editor

Free giveaways, crafts and live music were only some of the perks students enjoyed at Wednesday’s Matafest, the USU‘s first event of the year.

“It’s our welcome to campus and kickoff event, (and) a preview of the bigger events we have planned,” said Iris Pupo, event assistant.

Welcome prizes given by the USU included gift cards to the Matador Bookstore, Freudian Sip, a Big Show ticket, and a parking permit, won by Jennifer Canty, a liberal studies junior.

“It’s great to win it, especially since I haven’t bought mine yet,” she said.

USU and the Student Resource Center (SRC) had booths with email sign-ups, informational pamphlets, and prize giveaways.

“We’ve had over 50 people sign up,” said Crystal Glover, marketing assistant for the SRC.

Glover stood beside a laptop, letting students sign up instantly for the weekly e-newsletters about events, open jobs, and chances to win prizes.

At the Craft Corner, which is held every Thursday throughout the semester, participants were able to make sun-catchers and decorate fishbowls.

“It’s a good way to meet people, there are lots of fun activities,” said freshman Dalia Khatib. “I signed up for the USU blast so I can get more information, I definitely want to come to more events.”

Photograph Stereo, the lead singer of which graduated CSUN in 2007, provided live music, and kicked off the weekly Noontime Concerts, which feature local bands.

Free food from L&L Hawaiian BBQ and entertainment was provided by CSUN Taiko Performers and a Polynesian dance company in the Plaza del Sol. Inflatables were available and 80 clubs and organizations were represented.

The event was held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza del Sol, and was continued from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the OST lawn between the USU and Redwood Hall.