SUB — The line trailed and twisted from the SUB atrium to the Southwest Film Center. Some 300 students waited anxiously for one thing — T-shirts.
The University of New Mexico celebrated its 131st birthday, Lobo Day, on Feb. 28. The celebration featured a few speeches and a couple of video games.
In addition to UNM's birthday, organized by Lobo Spirit and University Communications and Marketing (UCAM), the day also marked 100 years since the founding of Lobo Louie as the school's mascot. The theme of the celebration was all about games with an 8-bit design of Lobo Louie printed on the shirts.
"They thought since the Lobo is turning 100, it's like he is leveling up and the video game theme came into play," Executive Director of Lobo Spirit Kaylee Maxon said.
The event started at 11 a.m. but the line for T-shirts didn't open until noon. No one gave a clear answer on just how many shirts were dispersed, but according to the UNM events website 300 shirts were bought for the event.
Either way, everyone who stayed in line until noon got a shirt, quickly filling the atrium in cherry red.
"I thought the Lobo Louie was really cute on the shirts," first-year student Melanie Jun said. "The design was really nice."
Everyone who got a shirt was required to stay in the atrium until the picture was taken for a new mural. Every year on Lobo Day, a photo is printed onto a large mural and displayed in the SUB and the La Posada dining hall.
"Honestly, I'm surprised they pulled it off so nicely," student Oluoma Edeh said. "The shirts were given away in like eight minutes and everything was so smooth like we got cake, we got pictures, shirts. It was nice."
The SUB was filled with different arcade stations for students to play classic games like Donkey Kong, Space Invaders and Pacman. The UNM Esports Club, invited by UCAM and Lobo Spirit, attended the event with an information table.
"We were super excited. We heard about it and immediately sprung right into action thinking about how we were going to do our tabling,” Esports Events Coordinator Mark Bailon said. "We are committed to providing a good environment for gamers of all kinds of people. We are really working on making sure we remain inclusive, and we are open to anybody who enjoys gaming competitive or not."
In addition to the Esports Club, the UNM Athletics Department had an information table where head football coach Danny Gonzales spoke to the student body.
"We need you guys involved," Gonzales said. "We have an opportunity to do something special here for our school, for our state, for the city, for everybody and with you guys involved, it can be an amazing place."
Gonzales asked students to come out to the spring game on April 4 and said he will have T-shirts for the students too. He also announced plans for renaming the football stadium's student section and asked everyone to start thinking about what it should be called.
With an "Everyone's a Lobo" chant and confetti falling from the second floor, the celebration continued with cake, games and a free photo booth.
"I honestly thought it was better than I expected," Jun said. "I didn't know there was going to be cake or the photo booth. I was just expecting a picture, and they gave us shirts in addition to that, so I was pretty pleasantly surprised."
Daniel Ward is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @wordsofward34