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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Admin, students reflect on Fall Fest

By Zane Silk

Last month, Fall Fest replaced the annual campus tradition formerly known as 10/10 for the first time. Grinnellians involved in the organization of the substance-free event are now taking stock of where it succeeded and failed. Fall Fest was planned by a committee formed and chaired by Andrea Conner, vice president for student affairs, and consisting of Michael Sims, director of student activities, the two co-chairs of both All-Campus Events (ACE) and Weekend, representatives from the men’s and women’s Frisbee teams and one Community Advisor (CA).

“I think that there were some aspects that were really popular and things that think would be really cool if we stuck with, like the service event, that went well, so many people donated warm clothing,” said ACE co-chair Claudia Handal ’18.

“I think that Fall Fest on Mac Field could have been better, and I think it could have been better catered towards people our age. I think we kind of walked into it a little blind,” Handal continued. “It ended up being a lot of little kids, … and so maybe a way to resolve that would be to have … 10/10 weekend just be for students. And then we can have something a week before, a week after, where it’s closing the gap between community and the College.”

Although the administration was able to put a large amount of financial support behind the new event, the late decision to reconstruct 10/10 left little time to organize any big attractions.

“In the future I believe the hope is to maybe get a popular or big music act for the evening, which was tricky this year because of timing,” wrote Lucie Duffy ’19, the women’s Frisbee representative to the Committee, in an email to The S&B.

Both Handal and Weekend co-chair Cecilia Kwakye ’17 noted that the short planning time, around five weeks, also created problems.

“Starting so late to organizing this event — I think this is one of those events that you might need six months, if you want to make it as fabulous and as grandiose [as possible],” Handal said.

According to Kwakye, all the students on the committee were on campus a few weeks before meetings, therefore Kwakye stated she was unsure as to why meetings did not begin earlier.

President Raynard Kington pointed to increasing student safety and wellness as the main reason for revamping 10/10, as the past event was largely focused around alcohol consumption.

“Safety was definitely an issues around 10/10, like a lot of people didn’t feel safe on our campus during that time,” Kwakye said. “Even though it may have seemed like a lot of students go to 10/10 and participated in it, a lot of students felt scared and disliked it and didn’t fell like they were part of the community because of that.”

During the planning stages, Conner expressed hope that the event would not continue onto High St. as it has in the past. Nevertheless, students living on High St. and East St. organized alernative parties beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing past midnight.

“I think that they were optimistic in thinking that [the changes] would just solve the problem,” Handal said. “I don’t know if it’ll remain a day thing, but I do think that High St. [and] East St. houses will take it upon themselves to have a progressive party.”

According to Handal, ACE’s reports revealed that Fall Fest was safer than 10/10 was in previous years.

“We are not responsible for student safety off-campus, … but I do know that there were unsafe circumstances where houses were packed to the brim, where people’s property was broken, like house toilets and things like that,” Handal said.

Beyond more time to plan the event, Kwakye and Duffy both pointed to greater student engagement as a way to improve Fall Fest.

“I think that to improve the event it will be helpful to hear what people did and didn’t enjoy this year. I also don’t really want to speak on behalf of the whole Frisbee program, but I believe we are planning to stay involved in the event, probably still in the evening portion,” Duffy wrote.

Despite student disappointment with the changes and the loss of a treasured Grinnell tradition, the new alcohol policy will prevent 10/10 from reemerging as an on-campus event.

“People definitely miss the old 10/10, but I don’t know what to do about that. That’s just gone,” Kwakye said. “It’s unfortunate but with the new alcohol policy it’s gone. That’s the truth.”

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