Sunday, May 19, 2024

CommUNITY Night at the Pond returns

Campus and community members mixed and mingled for the third year at CommUNITY Night at the Pond at Plattsburgh State while enjoying live music, food trucks and fun.

Student Association president Jessica Falace collaborated with Vice President of Student Affairs Bryan Hartman and secretary in Student Affairs Terry Lacey to plan the event in late July. Falace worked to bring every detail together for a night centered around Plattsburgh as a whole in her first year planning the event.

She hopes that by bringing community members to campus, students will be more willing to branch out and experience the excitements Plattsburgh has to offer outside of campus.

In the past, an emphasis was put on unity through a light display in Hawkins Pond. The first year, everyone was given an electric candle which was placed in the pond. Last year, a similar effect was done with paper lanterns in the water.

This CommUNITY Night staple was missed by some this year, but Falace and the planners decided to skip the light feature for good reason. The display required extensive clean up the next day, as well as ran the risk of polluting the pond.

Event goers were entertained for the whole two and a half hours outside Hawkins Hall. Some clubs and organizations were tabling to reach out to the community such as SUNY Plattsburgh Active Minds, I Am an Ally and Plattsburgh Cares.

Student performances ran throughout the night filling the air with music. The jazz band, Mambo Combo, opened and was followed by musician John Bessette, rapper Michael Spagnolo, singer Iqbal Khan, V-Nation, the Vietnamese Student Association, and the Uke-a-Dooks, PSUC’s student-run ukulele club. And for the third year in a row, the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir closed the event with its uplifting set.

Along with the performances, Platty Slack set up its slacklining equipment between the trees, and those with good aim tried to take down students and faculty in the dunk tank.

Angela Roppolo, a special-education graduate student, volunteered her time to pass out frisbees with the SA logo on them. Roppolo works at the Child Care Center in Sibley Hall and was excited to see some of the children she works with at the pond.

Walking around and handing out the toys, Roppolo also noticed many faculty members at the event.

Falace said this event is great for first-year students to get to know the faculty and staff at PSUC as well as their surrounding community.

Ella Levasalmi, member of the Uke-a-Dooks, said, “It’s really beautiful to see community members and the student body come together and celebrate the diversity of the community.”

Both parties were able to mingle over the music, food, booths and scenery as the sun set over the pond. Falace feels as if she and the planners have hit every detail. Although Falace won’t be a part of the planning for next year’s event, she already has ideas for improvement for the next SA president.


Email Jacob Elsbree at

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