When I arrived at Fall Fest sometime during its opening act, I saw students filing out of University Yard. Because of this exodus, I immediately assumed this year’s Fall Fest would suffer the fate of being poorly attended and relatively lackluster, like many other events held on campus.
But I was wrong.
Once Girl Talk took the stage, the crowd seemed to expand in both size and excitement. The performance was obviously a large part of Sunday’s success, but why was this event so spiritedly attended in comparison to other University functions?
The answer is clear: Program Board and the University really paid attention to the collective interests of the student body and delivered a wide array of activities that appealed to students.
GW’s community has a lack of traditional school spirit, but much of that arises from a lack of cohesion among the student body. Students have a great deal of pride in their respective clubs and organizations, but an overarching campus spirit is absent.
Attending the same school isn’t enough to foster spirit. Bringing together students who come from different backgrounds and share few similar interests should be a goal for the University and the student body. More than just planning functions that will be well attended, organizations should focus on having events that will draw a variety of voices and perspectives.
So what can truly unite individuals across cliques of different groups?
Girl Talk, for one, can. But beyond that, Fall Fest also showed its ability to appeal to a wide range of students by having an impressive opening act, several corporate sponsorships and even a beer garden for those of age.
University events and organization functions should also collaborate with fellow student groups to attend particular events en masse. The certainty of drawing students from a variety of interests will help increase spirit and affinity. It will also create traditions that go from belonging to individual student groups to the community as a whole.
If more events like Fall Fest were added to GW’s schedule of activities, students would have more opportunities to interact with each other and engage over their shared college, which might help foster the school pride that GW so clearly lacks. Events like these aren’t always easy to organize, but Sunday’s Fall Fest showed that, when done right, even GW students can have state-school pride in their college.
The writer, a sophomore majoring in journalism, is a Hatchet columnist.