Felix the alligator joined campus organizations on Apr. 18 for the Campus Activities Board‘s annual Strawberry Jubilee event at Southeastern Louisiana University.
With the help of CAB member Megan Blomquist, the Alexandria Forest Service took part in the Strawberry Jubilee along with other campus organizations, and they even brought a scaly friend named Felix for the Louisiana themed event.
“Megan is actually my daughter,” said Stacy Blomquist, Public Affairs specialist for the Kisatchie National Forest in Alexandria. “She called me and insisted that they needed an alligator since the theme was Louisiana, so we gathered together other commonly found ‘bayou’ animals that we had in our collection.”
Felix is a 2-year-old male alligator who has been with the Forest Service since he was around 6 weeks old. At Strawberry Jubilee, he gave students a unique photo opportunity while helping them to learn more about nature and what the Forest Service has to offer.
“Many, many people have no clue we have a national forest in the state of Louisiana” Blomquist said. “Because it is located mostly in the northern parishes, those in the south around Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Hammond, have no idea there are federal lands set aside for recreation, hunting, fishing, camping, biking, etc. that are available to the public.”
Blomquist also had other interactive features for students to participate in. With activities like guessing which fur and skull belonged to which bayou animal and feeling a texture similar to that of amphibians, students could learn about Louisiana animals and even an endangered species.
Though popular, Felix and the Forest Service weren’t the only attractions at Strawberry Jubilee. CAB’s Operations Manager Kirsten Babin organized over 30 campus organizations to create the spring “Gumbo Ya-Ya” for the students.
“To get the organizations involved we had them fill out a form on the CAB website” said Babin. “Once everyone was finished signing up, there were 38 total this year so we knew we would have variety.”
As part of the event, CAB held a game called “Fishing in the Crawfish Hole” where students could participate in a bean bag toss in hopes of winning a Strawberry Jubilee t-shirt.
“We wanted to make it more interactive this year,” said CAB coordinator Nick Elliott. “We wanted people to hang out and enjoy the event rather than just get a shirt and leave.”
Other organizations included sorority groups, the Student
Government Association, Student Publications, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, the University Health Center and even clubs like the newly formed lacrosse teams.
“This is a good recruiting opportunity for us,” said Heather Honore, the women’s lacrosse president. “We’re glad we were able to be here to do this.”