The Mount Vernon Campus is becoming a more popular spot for student organizations to host their events.
From last September to February, the campus hosted nearly 650 events, said Director of Mount Vernon Campus Life and Marketing Robert Snyder. The office, which oversees programming at Mount Vernon, sponsored about 40 events last semester that had a total of about 4,500 people in attendance.
“Our facilities lend well to what a lot of student organizations want to do,” said Jennifer Solt, student activities coordinator for Mount Vernon. “We have such an amazing outdoor space that student organizations are taking advantage of.”
Popular Mount Vernon events include Oktoberfest, the Mount Vernon Quad’s annual Fountain Day festival and Wacky Wednesday, a weekly gathering that introduces students to various pastimes.
“Wacky Wednesday is one of our flagship events,” Solt said. “It covers such a (diverse group) of topics. For a big activity, we might have a turnout of 400 in one week, then 20 people the next week for something small like knitting.”
Mount Vernon resident and sophomore Michelle Johnson said she appreciates the programming at Mount Vernon.
“I’ve lived on Mount Vernon this past year, and I love it,” Johnson said. “We get a lot of quirks as far as events, especially Fountain Day in the spring.”
Snyder said his office is working to expand programming at Mount Vernon.
“We definitely want more student organizations to host on Mount Vernon,” Snyder said. “We’re a collaborative campus with a sense of community, and it’s easy to get things accomplished here.”
Student organizations host events in venues such as the Hand Chapel, Post Hall and the Mount Vernon Pub. The campus also features more outdoor space than the Foggy Bottom campus. The Student Movement for Real Change took advantage of this space earlier this month, hosting its first annual, three-mile “Anything but Clothes” run.
“Some events, like the ‘Anything but Clothes’ run, are really difficult to hold at Foggy Bottom,” Snyder said. “I think it can be really difficult to work in that urban environment (since) streets would have to be closed and the neighborhood would be disrupted.”
While many organizations have trouble finding space to congregate in Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon can be an alternative for those groups. Some high-turnout events on Mount Vernon this year included various Greek-letter activities, yoga and Stress Free Zone, a week of free food, music and other events, Snyder said.
While Mount Vernon has continued to increase its presence in the GW community, some Foggy Bottom students are still not willing to make the bus ride out to Mount Vernon.
“I really like how the Vern has a campus feel, but I don’t like its disconnectedness from Foggy Bottom,” junior Kaity Harbour said. “I don’t really know what goes on there anyway.”
Upcoming events on the Mount Vernon Campus include University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s House Party May 1, Fountain Day April 28 with headlining act Ben Kweller, and the Four-Footed Faculty Friends May 4, in which faculty members exhibit their pets around campus.