Serendipity planning begins, Community Senate calls for input

An adult-sized bouncy castle. A solar-powered mechanical bull. A bubble party and a laser show. All of these ideas were presented at the Community Senate meeting as brainstorming began for this year’s upcoming Serendipity.

Started in the 1960s as a celebration of spring, Serendipity is a yearly weekend festival that gives Guilford students the chance to get out and enjoy a break from the grind of school.

On Oct. 3, Boren Lounge was packed as students gathered for the Community Senate’s first discussion on the organization of this spring’s Serendipity. The group brainstormed for Serendipity’s potential attractions.

“I would love to see a huge community service project,” said junior Sarah-jaana Nodell. “Then, when you get to the concerts you’ll feel like you actually achieved something.”

“As much fun as the concerts are, more daytime stuff would be better,” said Production Manager and Media Services Technician James Lyons. “They need to have more carnival games, stall style. That would be really cool.”

Students at the meeting also expressed desire for more contribution of campus clubs and organizations. One attempt to get clubs involved in the planning is by offering the opportunity to plan an event while Campus Activities Board (CAB) foots the bill.

While brainstorming at the meeting brought about many ideas, decisions will occur within the Serendipity Committee.

CAB Public Relations Officer Hannah Kennedy is chair of the Serendipity Committee.

In its beginning stages, the Serendipity Committee is focused on gaining student participation and input.

“One thing Serendipity has always been for me is a celebration of why I love Guilford,” said junior Yahya Alazrak. “It’s a showcase of what we love and what we do best.”

As a completely student-run event, Serendipity provides a unique experience for students to shape the event based on student input. Yet this opportunity is not always used to its full capacity.

“Part of (the trouble) is convincing people that Serendipity planning is important now,” said Kennedy. “Very few people know how much work goes into it.”

With the ever-present question of how to remain tuned in to the Guilford community, the group will begin pooling ideas for bands within the next few weeks. The goal is to have a general skeleton of the event by winter break and contracts signed by February.

“I would like more of a mixture of big and little name bands with a variety of music genres, so more people will come out,” said sophomore Erika Tidwell.

The Serendipity Committee will be organized as students join. Kennedy said she will wait and see who is committed and what they have to bring to the group before the structure is finalized. Getting the word out to people and gaining student involvement seems an ever-present issue surrounding Guilford events.

“What would be the easiest way for us to reach you and your constituents?” asked Kennedy to the group gathered at the Community Senate meeting. “The more we hear back, the better Serendipity can cater to you.”

Students who want to contribute their time or ideas should e-mail CAB or keep an eye out for surveys posted in the Buzz. The committee will be thrown into overdrive in the coming months as it organizes the 50-year-old tradition that is Serendipity.

“Serendipity is important as a Guilford tradition because it is a significant opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity and unique strengths of our community,” said Director of Student Leadership and Engagement Erin Fox in an e-mail interview. “I am excited about the efforts being made this year to encourage community investment and participation in the earliest stages of the planning process, and I hope this will help continue the positive trajectory of the event.” 

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