By Britteni Kayser
Free food. Two words every college student wants to hear. So why was that not a strong enough reason for students to come and stay at the East Quad BBQ this semester? To put it frankly, there was nothing else to do at the BBQ.
The East Quad BBQ has been a recurring event for the past four years at Principia. In hopes of sparking student interest this year, the social assistant team decided to have a DJ paired with a technical light show on a large projection screen. Unfortunately, students were uninterested in the music and light show. The majority of students continued to grab their free food and leave.
Sophomore Jen Fisher said, “I think the biggest issue is the lack of activity. If we pushed lawn games more and things like that, it might make it more of a relaxed party atmosphere.”
The general lifestyle of students in East Quad dorms tends to be a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle. If the event had reflected that established atmosphere it is possible that it would have had a greater turn out.
Each year, the social assistant team meets to debrief how the event went and what could have been done better. Junior Sami Corbitt, a social assistant, noticed the low turnout for the event. She said, “I think something that would have enhanced the event are desserts and interactive activities.”
Brett Grimmer, the Student Event Manager said, “[The social team] spoke a great deal about not having dessert and lawn games at the event and how it negatively impacted the BBQ. Because of this, we are definitely going to have both dessert and lawn games next year.”
It seems as if this suggestion will be recognized for future events this school year, as well as, for the East Quad BBQ next year.
The social team also questioned having the event at an earlier time. According to Grimmer, the first year of the East Quad BBQ happened at dinner time. “Every student on campus came to the event to get free burgers and hot dogs. It was a great turnout.” He continued to explain that, “the social team didn’t have enough money to fund that much free food, so we unfortunately ran out before the event ended.”
Although, a grand idea to produce a larger turn out in practice it would not financially be the best option. The social team is working on addressing these issues for future events and East Quad BBQ’s. Improvement is expected.
Grimmer also brought up an idea about the future of social events in general at Principia. He said, “something that I also want to happen is have the food there as an afterthought. The students should come for the games and relaxation aspect and stay for the food, not the other way around.” The focus on food has become a bribe to get students to be involved on campus. Students should have greater school pride and want to be involved with campus life whenever possible.
Grimmer and the other social assistants on the team have begun to discuss ways to improve next year’s event. With four years worth of information at their fingertips,their goal is to prove how next year’s East Quad BBQ will be an event students won’t want to miss.