Layout changes and a more organized atmosphere helped enhance students’ excitement and camaraderie at Weber State’s 10th annual Block Party last Friday.
Treated to a free purple pancake breakfast and an endless supply of candy, students ended the first week of school mingling with friends while getting a taste of the Wildcat experience.
“It’s almost a magical thing,” said Jackie Edwards, secretary of Student Involvement and Leadership. “All the people come out of nowhere and they’re all out there getting to know each other.”
Starting at 8:15 a.m., the campus-wide event hosted nearly 170 booths and had upwards of 8,000 students manning them until 2:30 p.m. when the event closed down.
Booths ranged from inflatable obstacle courses to break dancing displays. Students were invited to participate in an array of activities and interactive booths that introduced them to the many departments, clubs and organizations available on campus.
“It was definitely a successful block party,” said Tara Peris, WSU assistant director of student involvement. “I was super grateful for everyone’s participation and willingness to be flexible.”
Among the groups that participated were fraternities and sororities, sports clubs, campus recreation, religious organizations, academic departments and a variety of student services.
“It had everything for every student there,” said Bev Rudd, WSU events coordinator. “I mean, it had everything a student could possibly want to know about at Weber State.”
Ann Ferguson, WSU student, has participated in the Block Party for three years and also agreed that this year was more fun due to all the games and options offered at booths.
“It was definitely a great experience,” said Ferguson. “I really liked, obviously, all the free candy, and I really liked all the booths.”
The Block Party happens every year to give students an idea of which organizations they can get involved with at Weber State. According to Peris, most students don’t know that all the clubs and organizations even exist.
“I hope the students had things exposed to them that they didn’t know were at Weber before,” Peris said. “I hope that they’re excited to look into what they’re interested in more.”
Usually held on the east side of the Student Union building, this year’s Block Party was relocated to stretch down the main corridor to the Social Science building, due to the construction. However, Peris said, there was little conflict with the location changes.
“We actually liked it when it was expanded down below. We felt like it was the heart of campus,” said Peris.
After being involved in every Block Party for the past ten years, Edwards believed this year’s Block Party ran very smoothly, despite the location change. She credited their success to the new online system that took people’s requests and placed their booths in organized groups.
According to Rudd, this year was a lot more organized due to their new system.
“We had it grouped differently than we had in the past, so all your clubs and organizations are in one area,” stated Rudd. “It was just more organized.”
Along with all the new changes this year, one thing that always changes is the Block Party theme. This year’s theme was “Celebrate,” and all the booths were given the chance to choose their own theme to compete for “Best in Show.”
For Peris, the theme allowed students and faculty to display the reasons their department is something to celebrate at Weber.
“My favorite part about Block Party was everybody’s use of the theme,” said Peris. “Their translation of the theme and how they decided to use the ‘celebrate’ was just awesome.”
For Rudd, this Block Party was the best it’s been in years and she is excited for the beginning of a new year.
“The energy that the students bring with them back to college, I mean it’s just so exciting,” said Rudd. “I think that is the best part about any Block Party.