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Warrior Day a go; event for students only

POSTED May 15, 2012 5:50 p.m.

The once cancelled, then reinstated California State University, Stanislaus Warrior Day will return this Saturday – with a few changes in tow.

Unlike in past years, neither non-student guests nor university alumni will be allowed to the annual CSU Stanislaus festival. No alcohol will be available for purchase. And no big-name music headliner will perform.

Instead, the scaled-back event will focus on the festival-type atmosphere that made Warrior Day unique. A zip line will be set up, mud volleyball courts constructed, and a water balloon fight-zone built. A DJ and local bands – including Table For Five, winners of university radio station KCSS’s Battle of the Bandstand – will perform.

The site of Warrior Day will change too, moving from its traditional amphitheatre site to the pergola area of campus, near the student center.

Those changes were necessitated by disputes with CSU Stanislaus administrators, said CSU Stanislaus Associated Students Inc. President Mehran Khodabandeh.

In an effort to quell binge drinking, the CSU Stanislaus administration banned the sale of alcohol at Warrior Day. That led ASI directors to cancel Warrior Day, over concerns that students would drink more in advance of Warrior Day, potentially creating a more hazardous situation. Directors also feared that, should someone be injured or drinking continues despite the on-site alcohol ban, CSU Stanislaus administrators would forever ban the event of Warrior Day.

A student-led petition, collecting more than 1,000 signatures in just three days, forced ASI to reconsider their decision and reinstate the scaled back Warrior Day. That comes despite the lack of a firm administration commitment to continue the event – other than from outgoing President Hamid Shirvani.

“We’re making changes so we can preserve it, but next year I think it’s going to be taking a different turn,” Khodabandeh said.

Next year, Khodabandeh said he sees Warrior Day growing to become a more community-centric event, bringing together all of Turlock for a festival.

Khodabandeh, who will not serve on ASI next year, said he hopes future student leaders stick to their plans to continue Warrior Day and aren’t bullied by the administration. But a big part of the event’s future success relies on getting the community to buy in and support Warrior Day, Khodabandeh said.

“I feel like our VP listens to donors more than she listens to students,” Khodabandeh said.

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