Fall Fest: another year brings new fun for everyone


Alyssa Stencavage, L&A&E Editor

Just a few days ago food, fun and entertainment filled the Greenway, and people all over campus gathered to celebrate the start of the fall season, among other things. To what would this be referring, one might ask? The answer: the annual Fall Fest event that takes place on Wilkes University’s campus.
Fall Fest festivities began on Thursday, Sept. 26, with Programming Board’s Glow in the Dark Mini Golf in the RAC at UCOM. This was also where the revealing of fall concert information took place. Friday night’s movie in Marts was hosted by IRHC, where participants could enjoy “This is the End.”
Saturday, Sept. 28 brought all the fun and games, literally. From one to five, the options for entertainment were many. Thanks to the Blow Up obstacle course, students who wanted to feel like kids again could race themselves or others, and lawn games also filled the area. Fall Fest’s newest addition this year in terms of fun came with the carnival ride, which was the equivalent of a tilt-o-whirl at a regular carnival. Student Development Activities Assistant and adviser to Fall Fest Kayla Cauthon said this was the first time there has been a ride.
“The committee wanted to bring something new and different, to keep it fresh, and not the same thing all of the time,” Cauthon said. “They wanted to keep some similar elements, but didn’t want it to look like every other event hosted by mega council clubs.”
For those who wanted to break out the dance moves or experience the artistic side of Fall Fest, a Wilkes radio station DJ and face painting were both available. Similar to what would be found at any kind of carnival, there were the typical games for everyone in which everyone could take a chance. The only drawback: there were no prizes. Cauthon said this was more so for entertainment purposes, not prizes.
It doesn’t end there; what’s an event like Fall Fest without refreshments? To satisfy the appetites of all who decided to join in, on the Greenway a variety of food options were offered including Maers Barbeque, Primo Hoagies, Auntie Anne’s  Pretzels and, of course, the sweet treat everyone loves for dessert, Dippin’ Dots. Lemonade and water were also available to wash it all down.
Several groups collaborated and put in the time and effort to make Fall Fest such a success, namely the “Mega-Council,” Student Government and Student Development. Commuter Council, Off-Campus Council, Multi-Cultural Student Coalition, Programming Board and IRHC are among the entities that make up the Mega-Council. Together, these groups plan and pay for the event that is Fall Fest.
Throughout Fall Fest, Student Government awarded prizes, but event-goers had to be present to receive them.  Student ID’s also came in handy here, as coupons were given for food – that is only with the IDs. However, the event did not exclude anyone from all that Fall Fest had to offer. Everyone was welcome, but only students could reap the benefits and win.
Beyond the chance to have a good time, relax and enjoy the company of others at Fall Fest, Cauthon said its purpose is to give students a preview of what clubs and organizations will be putting on throughout the year. The affair happens every year around the same time; in the fall, so that organizations have the opportunity to promote themselves and allow those who are interested to join. Cauthon said it’s all about allowing people to see what kind of activities lie ahead for the future.
There’s something special about Fall Fest, and it seems to be the coming together of the minds of different organizations involved, which is a gift for everyone, students and faculty alike. Cauthon, who is in her first year as adviser, said the collaboration between bigger organizations within the “Mega-Council” is what makes Fall Fest the event that it is.
“That’s the biggest reason why it’s successful,” she said. “It is a great way to show collaboration while showing what their organizations do. It allows for a bigger event because there are multiple budgets involved. Fall Fest allows everyone to see what the mega council offers as far as programming is concerned.  Planning and implementing events takes a lot of background effort and work.  Skills utilized and developed through this process are great assets for the student leaders to possess, and will hopefully transcend beyond their college careers.”
Cauthon also believes it’s a nice escape from reality and the everyday hustle and bustle that everyone on campus is always engaged.
“It’s also a nice opportunity for students to get together and have fun outside before it gets cold.”
But even more than just getting away from the hectic environment at work and school, Cauthon said it’s a way for students to feel appreciated.
“I think it encourages involvement, and encourages relationships among student leaders,” she said. “For the student body, because they pay student activity fees, they can see what their money is going towards. There’s nothing wrong with a little fun element too.”
Students are also in agreement about what is at the core of Fall Fest.
“To me, Fall Fest brings us all together and provides a fun outlet for students to get involved and meet people from the community,” Jaleel Sterling, senior English and secondary education major and president of MSC said. “It gives students a preview of what to look out for throughout the year.”
“I believe Fall Fest is a great event because it is a time for the leading student organizations on campus to come and work together and put on an event for all of the students,” President of Off Campus Council Catelyn Sofio said. “Fall fest is also intended for mega-council to showcase for the students all of the events they are planning for this upcoming year.  For example, Off-Campus Council sponsors the entertainment aspect of the event, such as the inflatables you will see there, because it represents our major Block Party event in the Spring.  It’s a great event for the campus because it is an event that takes place during that time right as everyone is finally all settled into the semester and ready for the fun to kick in and everyone can come out and enjoy a day of stress free fun, food, and prizes.”
“I believe Fall Fest is a great event, as it is the first campus-wide event that allows all of the new and returning students to relax and have fun after the first three to four weeks of school,” President of the Commuter Council Christopher  Cousin said. “I know, for myself at least, I usually have three or four tests right before it, and it is a great way to unwind from a hectic week.  I believe all of the clubs working together (Student Government, Student Development, OCC, CC, MSC, IRHC) truly adhere to what college life is really all about.  We can all work together and put on a campus wide event that all students can enjoy; that’s the best part.  As for the campus itself, I believe it “kicks off” a great start to a year filled with fun events and socials, and gives the new students a small taste of all of the fun and exciting things that all of the clubs can put together.”
Fall Fest’s anticipated goal of 350 to 400 people turned out to be a reality.
Fall Fest had it all; fun for all and all for fun.
For those who wanted to volunteer at Fall Fest, it was as simple as contacting Cauthon.