Having fun on the weekend with [weekend]


Contributed by Sarah Oide

One event Weekend holds is called Dueling Pianos, where two expert pianists battle it out on stage.

Marcy Cassidy-Mapp, Staff Writer

With the struggles and stressors of college life, it can be difficult to find opportunities to relax and enjoy yourself. While some turn to sleep, work or even partying when they are old enough, the Weekend organization hopes to provide an alternative.

Weekend is a student-run organization that plans and organizes substance-free events and activities on campus. Their overall goals focus on bringing aspects of city life into a small town to relieve student stress and encourage peer-to-peer connection. The organization currently meets weekly and plans to split the coordinators into separate committees, focusing on PR marketing and event planning. Alyson Won `25 serves as one of the Weekend coordinators, focusing primarily on event planning and PR marketing.

“We know that Grinnell is a very tight-knit small community and also full of a lot of academic rigor,” Won said. “We try to host large- and small-scale events for a range of different student needs and interests with the goal to build community connections between students.”

Weekend coordinators are hired through a standard application process which is followed by an interview. During interviews, Michael Simms, dean of student involvement, along with the returning members, focus on finding passionate applicants who want to work with vendors and serve the Grinnell community. There are currently six coordinators who work in one of several roles, including PR marketing of events, content creation for the Weekend social media page or general event planning. Hemlock Envy `25 focuses mainly on marketing and content creation.

“I really like having a lot more people working there because everyone has their own perspective and experience with what the campus needs, so they can come and suggest ideas,” Envy said. “Then those events get funded, so it’s like the students involved have quite a lot of agency to make things happen on campus.”

Several members of Weekend staff attended the National Association for Campus Activities conference in Indiana, where they were able to acquire a different perspective on student event planning. After meeting all of the event’s vendors, the Weekend coordinators voted on which vendors followed the organization’s values and goals before proceeding to schedule them.

“Ashley Adams has different kinds of communication with Michael Sims, who approves the budgets and fills out the contracts” said Won. “Once the people are contracted, then we’re in charge of running logistics and everything, making sure that they arrive on time and staying to make sure the event runs smoothly.”

Though there is not an entirely distinguished department for it, Weekend’s contracts with event vendors and their organization funding are overseen by their supervisor Ashley Adams, associate director of student involvement, and Simms. They receive funding from different sources, one of them being the student activity fee.

“It feels good to be able to use the College’s resources to make student life more meaningful and provide ways for students to connect and access entertainment and other resources,” Envy said.

This year, Weekend has hosted several popular events like laser tag and the Springfest. The roster for the spring semester has already been filled as of this week, and the organization hopes to cater to a wide range of interests and demographics throughout the community.

“Personally, it’s worth having so much reach as a student organization that plans events for such a large scale of people. There’s a lot of privilege that comes with that, in terms of not only funding [but] reach, and so with that, I want to be responsible with the way that we choose events,” said Won. “I want to ethically make sure that the vendors that we choose are people that are aligned with our values.”