Jessica Haya, a sophomore engineering entrepreneur major, smiles after hitting a pumpkin with a bat. Haya participated in the Pumpkin SMASH to help generate donations for the SHOP. - Staff Writer / Kristin Guglietti

As midterms are approaching, students are finding ways to de-stress by smashing pumpkins outside the Chamberlain Student Center.

The Pumpkin SMASH is part of the SMASH Hunger Charity Weekend hosted by Student University Programmers (SUP). For $5 or a canned donation, students can throw a pumpkin on a blue tarp then smash it open with a baseball bat.

“It was funny when I had to throw the pumpkin again. It felt like I needed to go to the gym,” said Liv Molinari, a junior supply chain and marketing major.

All donations generated go to The SHOP at Rowan. Duffield’s Farm donated 200 pumpkins, so if all the pumpkins are smashed it would raise $1,000 for The SHOP.

The SHOP (Students Helping Other Profs) is a food pantry and resource center on campus for students in need. Rbrey Singleton, a former Student Government Association (SGA) senator and last year’s SGA president, opened The SHOP in March 2017 to address food insecurity on campus.

According to an article from 6abc published that March, “Last spring, Rowan did a survey and of the students who responded, 51% said they’d either cut or skipped a meal because they couldn’t afford it — some more than once.”

The SHOP also carries school supplies, toiletries and hygiene products, including tampons and pads. There aren’t financial restrictions. However, it’s geared towards students who can’t afford adequate food or other supplies. People can find The SHOP at the Rowan Boulevard Apartments in Room 141 of building five.

Some students didn’t know about The SHOP’s existence, but had fun beating up pumpkins till their guts spilled out.

“It’s a great way of getting anger out. Your donation is like a two for one,” said Vincent Astarita, a freshman mechanical engineering major who didn’t know about The SHOP until today.

The event is part of a weekendlong effort to raise donations for The SHOP.

Joe Frascella, who is a junior communication studies major and the director for charitable events for SUP, helped put the event together.

“We have a whole weekend ahead of us. We are beyond excited and we’re hoping to get a good turnout,” Frascella said.

As far as other SMASH Hunger Series events, there’s the Car SMASH at the Student Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. For $5 or a canned donation, students get five swings with the tool of their choice to destroy a car.

On Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., there will be a SMASH Bros. tournament in the Game Room, which is located inside the Student Center. There will be a 64 person SMASH bracket where each participant will give a $5 donation. Spectators can watch for free, but can also make a donation if they wish.

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