Dustin Steinhoff, Staff Writer

The 2018 University of Missouri-St. Louis Mirthweek celebration took place from April 21 to April 27 and featured events ranging from carnivals and laser tag to the Student Leadership Banquet and Volunteer Fair.

The first event of Mirthweek was the Graduate Gateway Conference, taking place on April 21 and April 22 in The Dave Ganz Room in the Anheuser-Busch Hall. The theme of this year’s conference was Humor and Happiness. Saturday’s lineup of speakers included Sara Pope, Wesley Geyer, and Justin D’Arms, who presented The Laughter of Power: Overcoming as a Means of Humor, Humor as a Function of Intelligent Systems, and A Motivational Theory of Natural Emotions (and Some Implications for Moral Luck), respectively. Sunday’s lineup of speakers included William Bell and Alan Roberts, who presented On Loneliness as Social Misattunement and Funny People Logic, respectively.

The 5th Annual Last Lecture featuring Associate Professor of Educational Foundations in the Department of Educational Services and Professional Programs Matthew Davis took place on April 24 at the J.C. Penney Summit Lounge. The name of the Last Lecture Series is a reference to Randy Pausch’s “last lecture,” a speech he had delivered during his battle with pancreatic cancer. Davis was the faculty member chosen to deliver his address for his contributions through teaching and services to UMSL.

The Mirthweek Carnival took place from noon to 5 p.m. on April 25. Despite a chance of rain in the forecast, the carnival and the attendees remained dry for its duration with a cloudy overcast sky that did nothing to hamper the Mirthweek spirit. Students and faculty were able to get on various carnival rides, including a Ferris wheel. Tents lined the sidewalk with different games to take part in as well as a caricature artist, who gathered a particularly long line. Some cornhole boards were set up in the grass with bean bags for people to use as well. Those who worked up an appetite from the rides and games were able to grab some popcorn, cotton candy, and desserts from food trucks.

The 2018 Spring Volunteer Fair took place on the second floor of the Millenium Student Center on April 25 and 26. Organizations present on the first day focused on Youth and Education, Environment, Health/Wellness, Seniors, and Family Services. Organizations present on the second day focused on Women, Veterans, Hunger/Homelessness Issues, and Animals. April 26 also held free and unlimited laser tag for students in the Century Rooms of the Millenium Student Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

April 27 was an especially busy day for Mirthweek, with the UMSL Goose Chase, Food Truck Friday, and the Leslie Jones Comedy Show all taking place to close out the 2018 Mirthweek Celebration. The 3rd annual UMSL Goose Chase took place from 10 a.m. to noon at the UMSL Recreation and Wellness Center. Registration cost $10, which went towards the Triton Hunger Fund. Participants were able to choose between the 5k and the one-mile walk. Those uninterested in participating in the running were still able to help a good cause by bringing canned foods to help with the Triton Hunger Food Pantry. During Food Truck Friday, various food trucks were on campus including Essentially Fries, Wayno’s International Cuisine, Wingnut Food Truck, and Twisted Tacos. Parked in the Recreation and Wellness Center Visitor Lot, the trucks serves the students and faculty from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The last Mirthweek event was Saturday Night Live member Leslie Jones’ performance at 8 p.m. in the Blanche Touhill Performing Arts Center.