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Disco, DJs and Dancing: New Students Study Their “Social Education” at Union’s Annual Events

Students line up to attend the annual Sunburst Festival at Union South.

New Badgers have a lot to learn their first few weeks on campus, and studying up on the “social education” of UW-Madison is no exception. This year, thousands of new students flocked to the Wisconsin Union’s annual back-to-school events.

This year’s Sunburst Festival at Union South, held Sept. 2, featured dozens of fun events as a perfect introduction to Union South. This year’s activities featured free T-shirts, glow-in-the-dark bowling, billiards, rock climbing, team trivia, free food samples, silent disco and more.

Silent disco, a dance party where music is played entirely through individual headphones instead of a speaker system, was a popular event at Sunburst Festival. This year’s DJs, Amileah Sutliff and Andrew Winistorfer, kept new students dancing all night.


“Freshman energy is unbelievable, and they demonstrated that by flawlessly executing Soulja Boy’s ‘Crank Dat’ not one, but two times,” Sutliff said. “And they knew every word to ‘Bodak Yellow’. They give me hope in the future of our school.”

When taking a break from silent disco, students also took hip hop dance lessons, designed Henna body art and took photos with Bucky.

But the Union fun didn’t end Saturday. The next night, across campus at the Terrace, the Wisconsin Union Directorate presented Sunset Slam, a welcome back extravaganza and farewell to summer event.

Students learn about WUD programs at Sunset Slam

With events and activities programmed by our 10 student-led WUD committees and six Wisconsin Hoofers clubs, students learned all the ways they can get involved on campus. This year’s event featured several events perfect for new students, including:

  • A Cappella Performances
  • Dance Lessons
  • Sailing & Climbing Wall
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Performance by DJ knowsthetime

The Union’s Sunburst Festival and Sunset Slam were the perfect way for new students to see everything the “heart and soul” of the university has to offer.


Author: Ellie Herman

Ellie Herman is a senior at UW-Madison studying Journalism and Mass Communication and French. If she's not petting every dog at the Terrace, you can probably find her drinking massive amounts of coffee at Peet's in Memorial Union.

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