2020 Fall Fest


Jordyn Daggs-Olson

From SAB bingo nights to fall sporting events, it’s safe to say that the coronavirus has impacted multiple aspects of a typical college experience here at BVU.  As we stay physically distanced through our classes and extracurriculars, the campus community has had to reduce face-to-face activities that would normally happen. Although many campus events have been canceled, there are still a few BVU traditions that students will see introduced and adjusted to satisfy COVID-19 restrictions.

A new series of events happening this week has been introduced has “Fall Fest”. Erica Swanson, Assistant Director of Student Activities, explained where the idea for Fall Fest came about. “Early on this semester, Student Success started noticing…that students, obviously, were having a lack of things to do, a lack of things to look forward to, the mood around campus was a little down because we weren’t able to do some of the fun things we normally get to do,” explained Swanson.

Student Success formed a task force to brainstorm events that students could attend in-person. Mandi Mollring, chair of this task force and Assistant Director of Career and Leadership Development, shared what this process looked like and how they came to Fall Fest. “[The task force] was really a blend of all different Student Success areas… it kind of encompassed everybody…We started to come up with different ideas, and then Erica Swanson said ‘what if we would do just a full fall fest week?’ because a lot of the activities we were coming up with had a fall theme to it and so we wanted to…have a week where students could get excited that there would be different activities happening everyday that they could participate in,” Mollring said.

Many of the events happening this week have been hosted by individual organizations in the past, and so Fall Fest brings them all together with the added support of Student Success. Besides offering events for students to partake in on campus, another main priority was to offer activities that remote students could participate in as well. Such events included SAB’s virtual BINGO and the iHalloween writing contest that concludes at the end of the month.

The festivities began on Sunday, Oct. 25th  with SAB’s Halloween Craft Making and Coloring Contest. SAB also hosted Spooky Bingo night on Monday, Oct. 26th. Students were able to play along in Cru5h Dining, the dining hall, or online. On Tuesday, Oct. 27th, ALPS sponsored lawn games, s’mores courtesy of Sodexo Dining Services and pumpkin decorating on the South Forum Lawn patio from 5pm-7pm. Team Wellness is holding a Trunk or Treat event this evening, Wednesday, Oct. 28th from 5:30-7pm. Women’s soccer and volleyball are also hosting a pumpkin smashing and pumpkin bowling event on Thursday, Oct. 29th beginning at 5pm. Finally, on Friday, students can go to the Lamberti Recreation Center and indoor track to watch Halloweentown on SAB’s new inflatable movie screen. Snacks will be provided, and students are encouraged to bring pillows and blankets. Although, due to possible inclement weather some locations may change.

Mollring stressed the importance of students taking advantage of these campus activities, especially in a world where our time spent in the physical presence of others has been limited. “We are doing all of this in the safest manner possible, following all safety guidelines and protocols so students can feel safe participating in these events, but we need the students to want to participate…You can come, participate, be done in ten minutes and go back in because it’s cold or…you want to go back to your room. We really want students to get out, to try the activities, and maybe meet new people, you might find a new activity, win some prizes…and having a little fun,” stated Mollring.

While unknown as of right now, there is a possibility that Fall Fest could become a new campus tradition. Erica Swanson hopes that with positive student participation and feedback, that could be the case. “I definitely think there is a place for [Fall Fest] to continue every year. I don’t see why not. I think it’s an amazing event with lots of activities…A lot of these events would’ve probably happened, but in this way, we can do it as one big, campus wide celebration. So, I definitely would love to see it continue every year. I committed to seeing it continue every year. I definitely think it’s something that we can and something we should do,” Swanson said.

Student Success has other campus events in the works that students should look out for next month including Gratitude month, Diversity and Inclusion Week, and the annual BVU Campus Christmas Dinner.