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SDSU student council uses Aztec Bowl's home-field

February 08, 2001

advantage to welcome back returning students

By KELLY RAUSCH, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The main quad at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus was transformed into a football field Wednesday as the school's Associated Student Council hosted the Aztec Bowl Welcome Back for students.

"We're promoting spirit and making sure we're proud to be Aztecs," said ASC President Yulil Alonso-Garza.

The ASC, a seven-member body, began planning the Aztec Bowl in November. Developing a theme, organizing activities and calling local businesses for sponsorship was "a group effort," Alonso-Garza said.

Using donations from the community, the ASC provided raffle prizes, T-shirts and complete tri-tip dinners to students free of charge.

It was important to keep the event free "so students wouldn't be burdened with another fee," Alonso-Garza said.

As a DJ played music, a chilly evening breeze carried the scent of cooking beef across the mini-football field chalked into the quad's grass. Students, faculty, staff and their children tossed footballs around as others signed up to participate in flag football games and the quarterback challenge.


Americo Yacopi, a counselor at the university, was signing up for a chance to be named Aztec Bowl king.

Similar to homecoming royalty, the Aztec Bowl had a king, queen, prince and princess. Unlike other competitions, Wednesday's winners were selected at random from a field of six contestants of each gender.

Yacopi wasn't sure he was royalty material.

"Yulil (Alonso-Garza) twisted my arm," Yacopi said, smiling.

"I said, ‘OK, sure. I'll go for it.' Why not?" he added.

ASC senator Monica Denogean said event organizers wanted to make Aztec Bowl as student-friendly as possible.

Usually students won't want to participate in things such as a king and queen competition, Denogean said.

"Sometimes they want to be involved but they're scared (of looking silly)," Denogean said.

Promoting student involvement was a goal of the ASC.

"We want to eliminate apathy and create a leadership environment," Alonso-Garza said.

"It's also a chance to interact with faculty and staff. It's something that's social and that eliminates the professor-student tension," Alonso-Garza said.

The ASC also used the event to focus on other happenings on campus.

The recently started book exchange, in which students sell books to each other through the ASC was one such event.

"We're thanking students for making the book exchange a success," Alonso-Garza said.

She estimates at least 100 students have used the service so far. It ends Feb. 15.

SDSU-IV will host a week of celebration in March commemorating the life and work of Cesar Chavez.

The week, running March 26-30, will allow SDSU-IV students to get involved in the community and local schools while honoring Chavez.

Staff Writer Kelly Rausch can be reached at 337-3442.

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