FAU student organizations participate in seventh annual ExtravaCANza

Homecoming's week of events continued with the competition made to benefit Boca Helping Hands.

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Students try to build a superhero sculpture out of canned goods to celebrate 2015's Homecoming theme "Agents of Change." Photo courtesy of Charles Pratt

Joe Pye, Contributing Writer

Five, four, three, two, one — now build!” called out Angela Baugher, assistant director of the Weppner Center for LEAD and Service-Learning at the beginning of Homecoming’s seventh annual ExtravaCANza.

Together, Students Advocating Volunteer Involvement (SAVI), Student Government and the Weppner Center for LEAD and Service-Learning hosted the event on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Free Speech area on the Boca Raton campus.

Members of the Student Alumni Association pose with their finished sculpture Tuesday. Photo by Patrick Martin|News Editor
Members of the Student Alumni Association pose with their finished sculpture Tuesday. Patrick Martin | News Editor

Student organizations competed to collect canned foods and build structures depicting the Homecoming theme, “Owls: Agents of Change.”

All donations were given to Boca Helping Hands (BHH), an organization dedicated to providing food and emergency assistance for those in need, and will contribute to Florida Atlantic’s Division of Student Affairs’ new initiative, Beyond Food.

Beyond Food is a program that will utilize “the expertise of various on and off campus resources in assisting students in need,” according to Nori Carter, the director of the Weppner Center for LEAD and Service-Learning.

The program is expected to launch in spring 2016.

Student organizations like the Asian Student Union (ASU), the Human Powered Submarine Club (HPSC) and Ballroom Dancing were among those who participated. Greek life organizations including Phi Mu Alpha, Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Delta Pi and several others also competed against the clock to create their canned food structures.

Sorority and fraternity members work to keep Owlsley’s arms from flying away because of the wind Tuesday. Photo by Patrick Martin|News Editor
Sorority and fraternity members work to keep Owlsley’s arms from flying away because of the wind. Patrick Martin | News Editor

“We made Owsley into a superhero,” said Katharine Taborda, a junior elementary education major and member of Alpha Delta. “We gave him a ‘Captain America’ shield with our [Alpha Delta Pi and Alpha Tau Omega] letters on it.”

The HPSC constructed a submarine out of their cans and ASU made theirs into the face of an owl.

The student organizations’ work was judged on account of FAU spirit, pride, creativity, originality and realistic appearance.

There were four judges: Ashley Haynie, assistant director for transition services, Maya Burney, graduate assistant for student conduct, Dr. Wendy Hinshaw, assistant professor and director of the writing program and the Executive Director of Boca Helping Hands, James Gavrilos.

Michael Denny and Josh Jacobs of the human-­powered submarine club promote their club during the ExtravaCANza. Their submarine sculpture took them about 10 minutes to make. Photo by Patrick Martin|News Editor
Michael Denny and Josh Jacobs of the human-­powered submarine club promote their club during the ExtravaCANza. Their submarine sculpture took them about 10 minutes to make. Patrick Martin | News Editor

Gavrilos said, “Today is the fifth year that I have been honored to judge the ExtravaCANza, and it is the one event I look forward to every year.”

“Our collaboration with the entire FAU community has been one of our great partnerships here at Boca Helping Hands,” he continued. “FAU faculty sit on our board of directors, and virtually every student group has come to BHH to volunteer.”

According to Gavrilos, this year’s donations weighed in at 4,609 pounds — not including canned meals — beating last year’s record of 4,206 pounds.

“I love the energy and creativity of the students … and let’s face it … a donation of 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of canned goods helps us fill those 6,000 bags of groceries we distribute every month to local families in need,” said Gavrilos.

The winners of the competition will be announced during the Homecoming football game against Florida International University this Saturday, Oct. 31.