Welcome Back Bash for Students on Saturday
Stetson welcomed its students back to campus on Saturday, Aug. 19, and will throw a Welcome Back Bash for them on Saturday, Aug. 26.
Catered by Chipotle and Chick-fil-A, the event also features local businesses, Buttercup Bakery, Trilogy Coffee and Persimmon Hollow Brewing (for 21+ students), along with live music from local talent and Stetson University web editor Jordan Foley ’11. For everyone’s inner child, there will be games, raffle prizes and a bounce house.
The inception of the event came from Kate Ellis, ’16, former Pi Beta Phi president, who saw a need for all students to feel celebrated during the first week of school, not just first-year students.
“The first week of school feels like a huge party for first years while returning students just fall back into the pattern of things,” said Alyssa Morley, SGA President and a senior majoring in political science. “We really think it’s important for returning students to know that we are just as excited about them being here as we are the new students.”
Hosted with Pan-Hellenic and the Interfraternity Council last year, SGA and MSC decided to carry the mantle of the event into what they hope will become a Stetson tradition.
“We were able to really build something appropriate and fun for all,” said Vanessa Petion, communication and media studies senior and MSC Chair. “There are no icebreakers, no cultural credit, and no pressure.”
Said Morley, “It really plays into the creation of a wholesome and welcoming community.”
The Welcome Back Bash, while literally all fun and games, is also an important start to an enduring relationship between the two organizations. With building and bridging community at the center of their visions, Morley and Petion discovered their orgs shared a goal to support and represent students within the Stetson community.
“[The MSC] works to ask and answer hard questions,” said Morley. “They bring unique perspectives, and varying views which is exactly what the Senate within SGA works to do on a daily basis.”
Petion believes the Welcome Back Bash is an opportunity to start the year on a lighthearted note, different than the usual serious nature of their work. Morley believes this event can also open up dialogue among students about what they want out of their representatives.
-Faison, ’18, is pursuing a double major in Communication/Media Studies and Political Science at Stetson University.