Creating community in color, glitter, & music

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Creating community in color, glitter, & music

Gabe Pollak/Guilfordian

Gabe Pollak/Guilfordian

Gabe Pollak/Guilfordian

Flower crowns, tank tops and shorts.

Last weekend was Guilford College’s 42 annual Serendipity. This event is held every year by the Campus Activities Board with the support of countless community members, including resident advisors and the entire campus life staff.

Originally hosted the first weekend of April, this year it was the third weekend. This was the first of a few small changes that were enacted this year in the hopes of prolonging this springtime tradition.

“The largest difference for this year is how we really wanted to focus on the idea of everyone having fun yet, at the same time, being mindful of their wellness,” said sophomore and Serendipity Chair Darion Bayles in an email interview.

This focus on safety and wellness was emphasized by this year’s new administrators, such as Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Todd Clark, who had not been around to previously experience the community-building event that is Serendipity weekend.

“I picture a lot of students having a lot of fun,” said Clark. “I picture friends making memories that go beyond their college experience. I also am concerned (that) folks (take) this as their time to let loose and not care about the consequences.

“We can have a lot of fun together; you don’t need to hurt each other in the process.”

One of the biggest assets the planning team had in their corner was an experienced group of dedicated staff members. They provided guidance and opinions aimed to create a safe and fun weekend.

“Our office has been doing a lot of bystander training,” said Associate Dean of Students Jen Agor. “Particularly Kristie Wyatt has done hours of that with clubs and organizations and athletes.”

Bystander and alcohol awareness were pre-planning events designed to create an informed and safe student body prior to Serendipity weekend. These were not the only changes implemented to create a secure event.

“An online registration for guests and alumni (was created this year),” said Assistant Director for Student Leadership and Engagement Emily Lott in an email interview. “In the past, guests did not need to register, and there was no account of who was on campus during Serendipity weekend beyond our Guilford students.

“Wristbands were also distributed the night of each concert, instead of the week leading up to Serendipity weekend, so ID’s could be checked and we could keep track of who was in the concert venue.”

Besides these minor changes and having all the concerts held inside, CAB believed Serendipity would still live up to its expectations.

Now that Serendipity has ended, the planning team, as well as students, have an opportunity to reflect on how it went and what their favorite parts were.

“My favorite part is always the same,” said senior Camden Lambert. “I love the way that Guilford comes together as a community. Everyone is so kind and joyful to each other.

“It’s always amazing to see. It really makes you feel like you’re part of a family here.”

The CAB committee officially kicked things off Friday, April 17, with the Color Festival down by the lake. Students grabbed different colored powder and waited patiently in a giant circle for Director of Student Leadership & Engagement Steve Moran to count down the beginning of Serendipity.

Students soon filled the air with a spectrum of color, screams and laughter subsequently followed by students emerging from the cloud covered from head to toe in colorful powder.

Later that evening after all the color had been cleaned up, a bonfire was held by the lake where students relaxed and ate s’mores. At 10 p.m., Reesa Renee took the stage in the Alumni Gym, singing soulful R & B.

The headliner for the evening was Guilford College’s own graduate Beau Young Prince ‘14 featuring Bootyspoon, which was also comprised of two Guilford graduates: Mackenzie Smith ‘14 and Alejo Salcedo ‘14.

Saturday, April 18, brought a warm sunny day to the festivities at LakeFest. There students raced in an inflatable obstacle course, rode a mechanical bull, slung water balloons at each other and made fun crafts at each of the club and organization tables.

“By adding food at the lake this year, a larger crowd of students migrated to the lake than last year, and many of them stayed for the majority of the event,” said Lott.

The multicultural education department hosted the kickback by the fountain, which had upbeat music and funnel cake. Students played Cornhole, danced to the Wobble and basked in the sun.

Before long the evening concerts had begun, starting with Mipso, a bluegrass band. The chill vibe quickly dissipated as the headliner Wild Child lit up the stage with the Serendipity energy in full effect. Both students and musicians sported face paint.

“I was thoroughly ecstatic with my final Serendipity and would like to thank everyone involved in coordinating this Serendipity, past Serendipity’s and any future Serendipity’s that come,” said senior Dan McFadden.

The positive Serendipity energy was evident throughout the weekend, perhaps most noticeably at the North Apartments. Two Guilford bands, Gray Hall Trio and All About the Booty, brought the funk, getting their classmates hyped and showing just how much Serendipity brings our Guilford community together.

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