By RYAN MCGRATH, JACINTA FORD and AMANDA SICILIANO
It is definitely clear that Fall has finally made its way back to Ramapo College because this past weekend marked the return of the campus’ annual Octoberfest.
Every year, Ramapo College’s Student Government Association puts a lot of dedication and effort into providing the students with many festive-themed events to bring the campus together.
“This year we wanted to change a few things and provide the students with particular events that would appeal to everyone’s interest,” SGA’s Secretary of Planning Kelly Krisza said.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT FROM THIS YEAR’S FESTIVITIES AS OPPOSE TO LAST YEAR?
While the Smashing Pumpkins Battle of the Bands competition was a popular event last year, the Student Government wanted to go above and beyond by coming up with new and unique events for this year’s festivities.
This year’s Octoberfest consisted of newer events like: the After Dark Sport’s Night Event, Haunted Mansion tours, the Fall Fallout and the Sidewalk Chalk competition; traditional events like the Octoberfest Carnival as well as the DJ Dance Party are still popular events throughout the weekend.
“We [the SGA] were really hoping that many people still come out,” Krisza said. “The fest provides so many different events throughout the entire festivities so many students always have something do, as opposes to being bored on the weekend.
STUDENTS COME TOGETHER AT THE HEART OF THE WEEKEND.
While many students came out Thursday night’s After Dark Sports Night event at the Bradley Center, the majority of student activity took place in heart of the weekend on Friday and Saturday.
Early on Friday afternoon, the College Programing Board held a Side Walk Chalk Competition near the Archway, where students from various on-campus clubs had the opportunity to reveal their artistic side. The winning club selected by a panel of judges received a $300 prize to add to their annual budget.
According to Junior Erin Healy, Historian of College Programing Board, this particular event encouraged unity as well student engagement amongst each participating club.
“This event definitely exposes students to all of the different clubs and organizations on campus,” Healy said. “Plus you get to see the clubs bond and interact together in a creative way.”
Handed with colorful pieces of chalk and an hour time-span, the pathway of the grove was flooded with students who huddled around their fellow club members. There were many who stood above and offered suggestions to their collaborative piece while each club member would maneuver around each other to frantically contribute to their clubs mural.
Primarily set on Ramapo College’s “Family Day,” Saturday afternoon’s annual Octoberfest Carnival proved the cornerstone of the entire weekend.
“The atmosphere of this year’s carnival was wonderful overall,” Junior Cara Daniello said. “It’s really nice to see the campus come together and see everybody spending time their families. Everybody seemed extremely friendly and happy to be there.”
As the weather cleared up from the morning and the sun shined down upon the Bandshell, the festival location was flooded with family members sitting the grassy field while enjoying the beautiful weather.
In the middle of the field, Student Government members distributed free t-shirts which attracted many students behind a festive row of pumpkins that spelled out the acronym “SGA.”
The Carnival offered many games and festive activities for students and family members of all ages to engage in. Many students and family members were intrigued by the various inflate carnival rides as well as the pumpkin panting station by the left side of the stage.
THE FESTIVITIES BEGAN TO DIE DOWN LATE IN THE WEEKEND
DJ Clinton played a variety of music from hit pop songs to techno club music until about 11pm. Clinton got the crowd moving immediately. Many students were definitely feeling the music and jumped around with their friends. There were even a few students who got on stage and interacted with the DJ as the music was blaring.
Once DJ Clinton warmed up the crowd, it was Swizzymack’s turn to take the stage. By that time, Cars sandwiches were distributed amongst the attendees. Considering that many people got up and left once the food was served, it appeared that a majority of students were there primarilly for the free food; not so much for the entertainment.
According to senior Elvonney Poole, in year’s past, the DJ Dance Party was one of the most popular events of the weekend, however only about 50 students attended this year.
“Me and my friends didn’t expect it to be like this,” Poole said. “Last year there were way more people and they had other things going on like raffles. This year is way different.”
According to Krisza, the turnout for Saturday nights’ DJ event was the SGA expected due to the lack of people who came out.
RAINY SUNDAY PUTS A DAMPER ON THE FINAL EVENTS OF THE AFTERNOON
For the final event of the Octoberfest weekend, a screening of the Giants vs. Eagles was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday afternoon at J Lee’s lounge in the student center.
By the afternoon, most students were exhausted from the long weekend. The rainy weather that was anticipated to hit the surrounding area a few days prior, finally came through, forcing many students to remain indoors.
According to Student Government President Vinny Guinta, since there were no students in attendance at the screening because of the weather, the SGA chose to cancel the event.
“Earlier in the weekend, there was much more student activity, ” Guinta said. “However, for today’s event, students probably didn’t want to leave their rooms because of the poor weather.”
Even though the SGA had to cancel the football game screening event at J Lee’s, they were not discouraged with the overall success of the weekend.
LOOKING BACK ON THE WEEKEND AND WHAT’S IN STORE FOR NEXT YEAR
Just like in year’s past, many Ramapo students always look forward to the Octoberfest weekend. This was Junior John Predale’s second Octoberfest and he was completely satisfied with the overall turnout with most of the events that occurred throughout the weekend.
“This year’s Ocotberfest was better than last year’s.” Predale said. “There were a lot more events going on compared to last year, so there was definitely a lot more activities to engage in each day.”
Throughout most of the weekend, the student government received feedback on this year’s festivities. Krisza was grateful for the amount of positive responses from students about the events that took place overall.
“We received a lot of positive feed back about our major events like the carnival,” Krisza said. “There was many things to do and people seemed very happy about everything that was offered.”
Krisza was also glad that the Octoberfest Carnival continued to go on as planned once the weather cleared up on Saturday afternoon.
” I was very glad that we got to have all of our events outside with the way we planned them,” Krisza said. “The weather was great for Saturday and really made the day a success.”
According to Krisza, important factors like overall student turnout and inclement weather were taken into consideration that could help the SGA brainstorm ideas to make next year’s festivities even bigger and better.
“For next year, I would suggest having an event like Fall Fallout and the same concept as the carnival BBQ because that seemed like people really enjoyed that portion of the day,” Krisza said. “We also have been trying many different Saturday activities; but due to weather, we never know wether to have them outside or inside.”