The Block Party, themed Wildcat Wonderland this year, kicked off the last day of Welcome Week with Weber State University President Chuck Wight serving purple pancakes to hungry students.
Booths started setting up early, and the party began at 8:30 a.m. All morning, students wandered from booth to booth, playing games, winning prizes and collecting information about opportunities on and off campus.
The Block Party provides clubs and organizations the opportunity to showcase what they can offer students and allows students to find how they can get involved.
“I learned about different clubs I didn’t know we even had,” said Bailey Bingham, a freshman majoring in history.
Many students came for the free food. The computer lab booth handed out chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, the booth for performing arts gave away Popsicles, and the developmental math program gave out cookies. Still more booths gave out candy, chips or drinks to anyone who participated in their activities or listened to information about their programs.
The communication department had a particularly interactive booth: a foam pit filled with plastic balls, which had questions such as “What is your favorite color?” on them that students could ask strangers to get more acquainted and possibly make new friends.
Lyndsay Rich, a technical sales junior, and Amani Woods, a nursing freshman, both said the hockey booth was among their favorites at the party.
“Both the hockey booth or the ballroom dancing booth were really fun,” Rich said. “Hockey was interactive, and everyone could play.”
Dozens of students lathered up in the foam pit at the Foam Party in the evening. The live DJ played until midnight.
“I think it was an awesome experience to meet other people that were there, as well as hang out in the foam,” said freshman Austin Tanner.
WSU’s fifth annual Foam Party took place in the pay parking lot this year, whereas last year it was at University Village. WSU invested in a new foam pit to give the Foam Party a facelift.
“We came up with an idea we feel students will enjoy and take pride in,” said sophomore Holly Campbell, a member of the WSU Student Association, about how the Foam Party tradition came to be.
WSUSA centered the Foam Party around WSU students. The first 200 people to arrive received free Italian ice. Last year, according to WSUSA, attendance was around 2,000–3,000 throughout the night, and attendance has grown by around 500 each year. The Foam Party is one of the largest gatherings WSU puts on throughout the school year.
The Foam Party was free to students who brought their Wildcards. While the majority of attendants were WSU students, occasionally a Utah Valley University or University of Utah student was spotted playing in the foam. The dance floor provided an opportunity for students to mingle.
“This event is meant to welcome students back and celebrate the beginning of the year,” said Courtney Woodfield, vice president of programming in WSUSA.
WSU junior Tessa Diamond, leadership vice president, said freshmen are more likely to come to other events during their time at school if the Foam Party is successful, so it truly kicks off the school experience for some students.