5 things Sac State students are missing out on during virtual fall semester


State Hornet file photo

Dancers perform downstairs in The Union during Phlagleblast on Sept. 7, 2016. Phlagleblast is one of the events students are missing out on during the virtual fall semester.

Milan Cabebe

Sacramento State is in the midst of its first-ever mostly online fall semester. Because of this, students are missing out on many things on campus the school welcomes everybody with, whether students are new or returning. Here are five things Sac State students are missing out on this semester:

1. Phlagleblast

Julie Li and Jessica Nunes hand out Phlagleblast flyers outside The Union on Sept. 7, 2016. The annual Phlagleblast event was not held this year due to a mostly virtual semester and physical distancing mandates. (State Hornet file photo)

Many returning Hornets remember the University Union decked out in countless themed decorations for one day, and one day only, and that was because of Phlagleblast. 

Phlagleblast is an annual event in which “the University Union showcases all of the great vendors, offices and services the Union has to offer,” according to the University Union’s website. The second Wednesday of the fall 2020 semester would have marked Sac State’s 21st Phlagleblast Hornet welcome. 

The concept of Phlagleblast is for students to familiarize themselves with all of the departments that students might not have known Sac State has. The way the Union does this is by starting everybody out with a blank game card with about 25 blank squares on it.

Each square is a different place found within the Union, such as the Games Room, Round Table and the Sac State Associated Students, Inc. offices. Each of these places has one or two “stampers,” staff employed there who are ready to stamp your card. The Union has three floors which houses many service locations for students to visit.  

At all of these locations, students can pick up a small complimentary object to keep such as highlighters, pens and mini staplers, which are all branded with the Phlagleblast logo for the year. 

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Some of the school supplies given out at Sac State’s annual Phlagleblast events. These supplies were given to students for free when they participated in the event, which was unable to be held this year.
(Milan Cabebe)

Once the game card is completed, students can turn it in for a free t-shirt and can enter a raffle for bigger prizes like an Xbox.

Senior business major Taryn Gonzales participated in the 2017 Phlagleblast during her first year at Sac State. The University Union was undergoing renovations then, so that year’s theme was construction. Gonzales said she was in awe when she walked into the Union that day because it felt like an amusement park with all of the decorations, games and live music.

RELATED: Phlagleblast embraces Union construction with future focus

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The University Union was decorated for a construction-themed Phlagleblast Sept. 7, 2017. Senior business major Taryn Gonzales participated in this Phlagleblast during her first year at Sac State. (Will Moon)

“It was really nice and fun getting acquainted with all of the resources that the Union provides,” Gonzales said. “It was so considerate that the Union makes a special day for students like me who are just starting at Sac State. As a freshman, it really helped me transition and get more comfortable on campus.” 

Because of that event, the Union was Gonzales’ go-to place whenever she has breaks within her schedule. 

2. The poster-selling man 

A “Friends” Central Perk poster purchased from the man who sells posters and prints at Sac State hangs in Milan Cabebe’s room. Cabebe bought the poster during her freshman year at Sac State from the man, whose stand is usually found between Eureka and Alpine Hall. (Milan Cabebe)

Sac State students are also missing out on the infamous man who sells posters and tapestries. Usually placed between Eureka and Alpine Hall, the tents this man set up for his business reeled in customers with colorful and popular prints as well as trippy and multi-colored tapestries on display. 

Sac State speech pathology alumna Courtney Gallion said she remembered walking to one of her first classes and saw a number of people sifting through the many poster choices that this man’s stand had to offer. After class, she immediately went back to her dorm room and told her roommate all about it.

“I just remember it was so fun to look through everything because I had just moved in,” Gallion said. “I didn’t have that much stuff in my dorm.”

Gallion purchased an Eiffel Tower print and a coffee cup print, which she said was perfect because her coffee machine and mugs were stored right next to it.

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Eiffel Tower and coffee cup prints hang in Sac State alumna Courtney Gallion’s freshman year dorm. Gallion bought these prints during her first year at Sac State from the man who typically sells posters and tapestries between Eureka and Alpine Hall during the first week of school. (Photo courtesy of Courtney Gallion)

“You don’t think of it [prints] as something you need, but it helps make your living space just more comfortable and livable,” Gallion said. “For the freshmen who missed out on the poster man’s business, there’s hopefully next year.”

3. Club Rush 

Heavy foot traffic can be seen through the walkways as people are surrounded by club and organizations tables during club rush. Club tables are an aspect of campus life students are missing out on during this virtual semester. (State Hornet file photo)

During the first two welcome weeks of school every semester, Sac State showed thousands of students what the campus has to offer with the various clubs and Greek life stands they can join.

Senior computer engineering major R. Singam joined the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers club two years ago, a club for students who are a part of the engineering major at Sac State. It’s for students to get a better understanding of how it feels working in the actual industry as opposed to being a student, Singam said.

“Those first two weeks of every semester are really critical,” Singam said. “When I saw their booth two years ago, I saw people that I already knew who were tabling for the club which made me want to sign up and join.” 

The engineering club advertises for new members through its website by having students join its mailing list, through the Sac State website on the club sign-ups page, by asking professors to send out mass emails to their students to join or having individual club officers make a quick announcement before an engineering class starts to let students know about the club.

Usually the club gets from 30 to 100 new members every semester, but because outreach is limited, it has received only about 30 to 50 new members this fall, Singam said.

Over 300 different tents and stands sat on both sides of the Library Quad and double-lined the sidewalk connecting the freshmen dorms to the Riverfront Dining Area, as well as the sidewalk from The Well to the AIRC, according to the Sac State Club Days webpage.

According to Singam, those first two weeks are really crucial because it’s the easiest and best way to get more members for any club.

4. Food trucks

Sac State students and faculty wait in line to buy their lunch from food trucks on campus during the Family Sunday Fun Day at Sac State’s Festival of the Arts April 9, 2017. Food trucks are usually found on campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. parked in between Saigon Bay restaurant and Eureka Hall. (Nicole Letrice Fowler)

Sac State’s campus had plenty of eateries for students and staff to get their everyday meals from, but those options were always there. However, there existed ever-changing options as well, and these were the food trucks.

During the first two weeks of school, food trucks that feed the Sacramento area sat in between Sac State’s Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Bay and Eureka Hall.

At lunch rush, typically from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., students had the option to buy their meals from these various food trucks

Justin Nguyen, senior gerontology major, said his favorite spots to eat were Gyros 2 Go and Panda Express, but when he heard through word of mouth of certain food trucks being on campus for the day, he knew he was eating at one of them instead.

“Having the option for food trucks to come onto campus is basically like advertising the food to everyone, which is a positive so it builds revenue for the businesses,” Nguyen said. “But it also lets students have the choice to try more foods if they don’t want to constantly eat at the food court in the Union or Riverfront, so I think it’s a good thing.”

Nguyen said some of his favorite food trucks were Chando’s, a Mexican food truck, and The Lumpia Truck, a Filipino food truck.

5. Sac State’s ambience

Joanna Hedrick’s ginkgo leaf art between Calaveras Hall and Alpine Hall on Nov. 26, 2018. Some Sac Students have said that they miss the ambience of the campus this semester. (Eucario Calderon )

Gallion graduated from Sac State in the spring and recently moved out of the Sacramento area. Even though she is away, she said she still misses Sac State, a place she once called home.

Gallion said she remembers during her sophomore year when she was taking chemistry, she could not focus sitting and studying in her dorm room, so she would walk across campus to the Grumpy Mule and get a coffee.

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The Grumpy Mule is located across from the library at Sac State. Alumna Courtney Gallion said she would go to the Grumpy Mule and get a coffee when she couldn’t focus on her school work. (State Hornet file photo)

“I would sit outside because it was cold and it would keep me awake and alert, and I would just study for hours out there and it really helped me to have a change of scenery, to be able to go somewhere else,” Gallion said. “It was nice to sit at the table and face out and just look at all of the trees. It was just always so peaceful.”

A popular spot for students to study and mingle was the 5-story library. Gallion, however, said the library felt like a dungeon and she enjoyed the Academic Information Resource Center a lot more.

“I would go up to, I think it was the third or fourth floor of the AIRC, sit at the high seats and you’re facing a giant window and all you see is trees,” Gallion said. “I love going up there just because I love outdoorsy stuff. It was just nice to look at while sitting there studying.”

Another favorite for Gallion was the dirt path that connected the dorms to Lassen Hall right behind the bus station.

“I always liked taking that way because in the fall, it looks so pretty with all the trees and stuff,” Gallion said. “And that’s another thing I missed about campus is that row of trees that turned yellow in the fall. I would purposely walk the long way back from class just so I could walk by that.”