Photo by Nicole Guillen
In a wide lecture hall, I’m barely keeping my eyes open to a professor’s monotone lecture. It’s 12:00 pm: there are 15 more minutes of wasted time listening to a lecture as dull as a burnt-out lightbulb.
Suddenly, a trumpet sounds from somewhere outside the classroom.
“Alright class, I’ll let you go early. It seems like you’ve had enough.”
The auditorium erupted with the creaking of seats going upright in unison. The trumpets crescendoed as students walked closer and closer to see…flags?
On the easels of both entrances in the Kirschman building, the Business Carnival was on the agenda but all that I see are colorful flags thrown by men in tights. The flag-throwers commanded the atrium with their swift and intentional swipes at each other. After their attack-dances, they found a new enemy with the wind. The students looked around to find that all students and faculty were just as mesmerized by the twirling of flags. Students were silent, phones held ready.
“We’ve done different things to grab people’s attention, but never like this,” said Peggy Gaffney, assistant dean of the college of business administration. Gaffney, CBEC President Kevin Heuer and career counselor Bob Brown were responsible for this unusual yet intriguing event.
From the minute Gaffney received the unexpected phone call from the American Italian Culture Center, she knew it was an opportunity that couldn’t go to waste. The Sansepolcro Flag-Wavers is a traditional Italian Renaissance-inspired group that bases their performances on the geometric patterns of Piero della Francesca.
The performances of these international touring flag-wavers have an underlying goal of spreading the message of peace and friendship. In traveling to various parts of their home country and other countries entirely, they’ve wanted to spread the hope to give people a chance to experience a culture that connects both their present and past.
While Brown admits that “the two events were not natural connectors, we saw this as a distinctive attention grabber.” The Business Carnival has historically been a place where students can learn about the overwhelming amount of business student organizations on campus. As a president of the American Marketing Association, Heuer states, “whatever brings attention to the middle of the building will benefit all organizations since they are set up in the atrium.”
Many students were not aware of the “pull” of the flag throwers. One moment, they were watching them, and the next, they were in front of a table for Beta Alpha Psi. The goal was for students to discover student organizations they can get involved with, but never did they think that flags would influence the number of eyes and static foot traffic.
They were entertained, they had pizza and they signed up for clubs that could change their lives. If students are inclined to take bigger “adult” strides, the Business Career Coaching Center will host a Career Fair on April 4 in the atrium of Kirschman Hall.