Wayzgoose Unites UCI

It is that time of year when the community, the prospective students, alumni and fellow Anteaters come out to play. Saturday, April 24, was UC Irvine’s annual Wayzgoose, also known as Celebrate UCI. This student-run outdoor festival had it all, from live entertainment, to the car show, food, rides and games. It was the perfect way to welcome in the spring. There were just so many things to do, and the free parking was just the icing on the cake. It is fortunate that UCI has the opportunity every year to open its doors to the community and to all prospective students. This old tradition gives UCI the chance to demonstrate how friendly and proud we Anteaters are as students here.

Many students on campus think of the word “Wayzgoose” as just a random word that ASUCI made up to name an on-campus event, but actually this term has a meaning and history behind it. The word “Wayzgoose” dates back to the 1400s. Wayzgoose was at one time an annual event where master printers would provide their workers with entertainment to mark the transition from summer to fall. Wayzgoose then expanded to a more general event as the annual outing, or feast, for the staff of printers on a newspaper. As far as the entomology of the word goes, it is constantly debated, and historians are not sure of where the word originally came from, but suspect is a type of slang term.

UCI has taken this historical tradition and changed its purpose from an annual celebration of the changing of seasons, to an annual festival that unites the school and its community. UCI is a public school and therefore our relationship to our community is vital, and I believe that many universities forget that. Universities are the pride and joy of its communities because it is the breeding ground for new student prodigies. Every student accepted into UCI was selected because the admissions staff saw potential in them for making UCI proud. Every successful student brings success to the school, which brings success and attention to the community. Wayzgoose seems to be UCI’s gift to the community.

The overall message that I want to send is that Wayzgoose is more than just another UCI gathering in Aldrich Park. It has more meaning than students give it credit for. The first time I attended Wayzgoose was before I began attending UCI. All of the events and activities made it obvious to me the closeness everyone had with each other. I passed by all the clubs and envisioned myself behind a booth fundraising for a campus organization and vowed that I would the next time I attended. Luckily my vision came true and this year I had the chance to tan in the sun while trying to sell handmade merchandise for HerCampus.  Participating in Wayzgoose provides students with the feeling of belonging and having a role on campus; which is why there are over 600 campus organizations. Every student wants to take advantage of the opportunity they have to represent who they are.

The first time I ever took a tour of UCI, the first thing that my tour guide said was, “Welcome to the happiest place on earth.” It is events like these that prove how happy our campus actually is. All of the students and staff are so friendly and willing to help everyone with anything they need. Everyone comes together to fundraise for their club, to perform in the park or to simply show their support for the school. It is truly a celebration; not only of school pride, but of a mutual respect we all have for each other as students all working hard to achieve our dreams. Sure, this may sound cheesy and a bit cliché, but each one of us is here with a purpose. Every article published, every film made, every dance performed, every math class mastered and every scientific discovery made is our step closer to landing our dream career. Wayzgoose not only celebrates the unity of our school but also celebrates the unity that UCI has with its community and its successes.

Emily Centeno is a first-year literary journalism major. She can be reached at centenoe@uci.edu.