Mary Peters

The Backyard Bash has come and gone for the school year, but what really is this event? Many of the students attending often are freshman, as that is the audience the event is geared towards. However, many students of different ages and labels attend as well. Diverse students and staff wander through the aisles in the Johnson Fieldhouse, looking at organization booths, enjoying the entertainment and feasting on the provided food. However, there is more to this big bash than what meets the eye. It is an opportunity to jumpstart student involvement and would not be possible without an enormous amount of effort.

The Backyard Bash is thoughtfully put together by many individuals, but largely coordinated by Choua Xiong. Xiong and others dedicate the entire summer and more to prepare, “which is just enough time to plan such a big event,” Xiong said.

The Backyard Bash provides an outlet for registered organizations to advertise to the student body. Additionally, it is an event for students of all ages to socialize and find common interests between each other. There are opportunities for all students to partake in, including various on-campus departments presented at the event. In the eyes of Xiong, “The Backyard Bash is very important because it is an event that helps all students -first year, transfer and current students- learn about the 150-plus student organizations, along with campus departments.” She explained the most vital part of participating in the Backyard Bash is, “the time for students to look in an organization that fits a student’s goals, values and morals. It is the perfect opportunity for students to branch out and network with other students.”

There were many forms of entertainment featured at this fall’s Backyard Bash, including caricatures, henna and inflatables. Xiong felt that this entertainment “adds in a little fun while roaming around for a suitable student organization.” She expressed how she felt the caricatures and the henna station hyped the students and made them want to stay longer. She recognized the inflatable attraction as “always a hit because it brings more visual to the Bash.”

The Backyard Bash is held at the beginning of every academic year for all types of students to roam around, find an organization that suits them, meet new people and enjoy their time. It is a blossom of opportunity for both the organizations and the students in endless ways. If you did not get a chance to attend the Bash this year, be sure to scroll through OrgSync to find an organization relatable to your personality and aligned with your goals.

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