Tiffany Loop, a typically serene landscape, was transformed into a social hub for students to connect with one another and take part in school involvement through Big Party and Involve-O-Rama.
Instead of the usual passersby hustling to class, first years and returning students alike milled around the central gathering in Tiffany Loop in a combination of two events to bring the campus together.
The Big Party and Involve-O-Rama, held Sunday, Oct. 24, provided students an opportunity for fellowship and involvement in student activities for the coming year.
While some explored their options for involvement on campus, others simply took part in Big Party games such as Cornhole, Giant Jenga, SpikeBall and Twister, replacing the typical scene of students studying on the grass.
The theme of Big Party this year was “Monster’s University,” and the offer of free dinner to all students attracted a lively crowd.
Big Party is an annual event held by the Student Union Board that helps promote growth within the student body. With each passing year, the event is slightly different.
“Part of this event’s success was due to new students turning up with excitement and a desire to be involved. This energy, I believe, comes from the special efforts put into Orientation this year,” said STUB Coordinator Andrea Phillips.
According to Phillips, one of the main goals of Big Party is to allow incoming students a time to enjoy life before the start of a busy school year.
“Since it is the first event of the year, we hope to provide a space where incoming students can take a second to relax and have fun with new friends before the school year begins,” Phillips said.
“Orientation can be super stressful and for a lot of people this is their first time away from home. We want to give them a second to catch a breath and relax before the craziness of school starts.”
Not only does Big Party provide a space for new students to bond with one another, but it also gives upperclassmen the chance to rekindle friendships from years past.
“The second focus of Big Party is for returning students. It’s a time for friends to reunite after a summer apart and share a memorable time just hanging out,” Phillips said.
Although a separate event, Involve-O-Rama shared the Loop with Big Party. Various clubs and groups gathered around the brick walkway at Tiffany Loop to represent their clubs and recruit members.
“I got to meet people from Lingua and other clubs, [and] I got to meet people that I’d only known through email communication,” said first year Emma Steely.
“It was nice to actually introduce myself to them, so I know their faces and they knew my face. It definitely helped me get used to things here at SPU.”
Some students recalled that it seemed there were more clubs present than in years past. Every year, more and more clubs are able to get involved.
“This year it seemed to have a lot more clubs participate than last year’s, which I enjoyed,” said sophomore Emma Eekhoff.
Eekhoff also noted the diversity of all the different clubs involved.
“It was a great way for students to have fun and develop new relationships while also learning about how to get involved on campus,” said sophomore Kaley Oschmann.
For Oschmann and others, this event proved successful in providing information to students as well as giving them the opportunity to unwind before the start of classes.
Phillips said,“I believe that this year’s Big Party was a success. We had a great turnout, and people truly seemed to have a good time.”