Victoria Kuebler, Managing Editor
The Office of Student Activities (OSA) is introducing “Weekendpaloza” this semester to host fun events and off-campus options for students to participate in on the weekends.
Over the last several years, Cynthia Fulford, the executive director for the Office of Leadership and Student Development, noticed a lack of weekend events by clubs and organizations. According to Fulford, Weekendpaloza introduces weekend activities for the first time in at least 10 years.
The usual weekend population at Cedar Crest is minimal. Unless taking a weekend course or studying in the library, commuter students tend to stay at home. Students with cars go off campus for the weekend, as noticed by the increasing amount of parking spaces in front of the residence building. The students who remain on campus throughout the weekend are left with limited options.
“We literally just sit around and watch movies and play video games,” said Sara Barcheski, a senior psychology major. “We actually just do homework if we get that bored.”
Weekendpaloza started last weekend by offering shuttles to students if they wanted to get off of campus. The shuttles went to the Lehigh Valley Mall, Whitehall Mall, WalMart Shopping Complex, and the Airport Road Shopping Center. The response by students was physically overwhelming.
“I loved the opportunity we were given to have weekend activities,” said Jessica Witkowski, a sophomore English and political science major. “Although, the Leadership Office or whoever is in charge needs to work out the kinks of transportation. There were far too many participants for the amount of vans they were using.”
While students have been complaining about the lack of weekend festivities for years, according to Fulford, it was Eva Barrett, Kaylah Baylor, and Sophie Mochmann who truly got the ball rolling.
At the Emerging Student Leaders Retreat, students are required to form committees based on needs of the campus community. Barrett, Baylor and Mochmann formed a committee revolving around weekend activities. While other committees fell through, Barrett, Baylor and Mochmann found a way to make it stick.
In fact, the name Weekendpaloza came from the students themselves, a precursor to its popularity among the student population.
“A student submitted it on a survey, and I just knew that was the name,” said Fulford.
Compared to other initiatives from OSA, Weekendpaloza seems to be causing an increased positive reaction.
“We send out surveys a lot and on average we get 30 to 50 responses,” said Fulford. “To this day, we have 97 responses. I believe this is going to be a hit. This is something that the students are excited for.”
Possible upcoming activities include karaoke and open mic nights, pajama parties, eating contests, theme nights including award show night and Superbowl night, and board game nights.
For more information on the events, a weekly email will be sent out as well as a calendar poster that will appear around campus for each month.
“I’m glad that we’re going to start doing weekend activities. I don’t have a car, and I know for other people in this economy it’s hard to have a car but nice to know that I have an extra option to go to the mall now,” said Barcheski. “If I know in advance, I definitely would go. I just hope it doesn’t flop, like things have in the past.”
Even students with cars would be willing to stay on campus if they are excited enough for a particular event.
“Having a car makes it easier to do stuff on the weekends. Depending on the event, it may depend if I stay or leave for the weekend,” said Samantha Huey, a senior biology major.
While most events during the week take place at night, Weekendpaloza is going to hold events during the day as well as during the night.
“With Weekendpaloza offering day time activities, I think it’s unique from other colleges. I think it can provide a nice break in between studying and sleeping. It’s a nice addition to the weekend schedule,” Emily Bergey, a senior nutrition major.
According to Fulford, Weekendpaloza is not necessarily set in stone at the beginning of the semester. At any point, if a club or organization wants to become involved and host an event between Friday night and Sunday, they have to email OSA and their event will be added to the weekly email that will be sent.
Fulford wants students to know that they have the power and that these are events happening on campus to benefit the student population.
“I’m of the ‘continuous improvement’ mindset. If it doesn’t work, try something else. If it does work, let’s improve it,” said Fulford, “Students have to know that they have the power. Don’t just complain: Get involved.”
Weekendpaloza will be hosting its official kick-off event Friday, Jan. 25 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Falcon’s Nest. Students can look forward to a board game night including giant Dominos, giant Connect Four, other board games, and Xbox games.
If you interested in being a part of the Weekend Activities Committee, you can nominate yourself and others under the Leadership tab on my.cedarcrest.edu, or you can email OSA@cedarcrest.edu and tell them of your interest. Look for more information after Jan. 25.