2018 Serendipidity represents year of firsts


Abigail Bekele

Guilford College hosted its very first step show which featured the college’s first step team. The For The Culture: Step Show on Saturday, April 13 was held in Dana Auditorium. Guilford hosted step teams from Salem College and North Carolina Central University. The step show brought Greek life to Guilford, as NCCU’s step team was comprised of a historically black fraternity. // Photo by Abigail Bekele/The Guilfordian

Serendipity 2018 was a year of firsts.

Beginning with a bang on Sunday, April 8, the week was filled with activity and vibrant energy as students bustled around campus heading to events, shows and concerts. Opening with the Wild ‘N Out comedy show and culminating in the frenetic “For The Culture: Serendipity Concert” headlined by Waka Flocka Flame on Saturday, April 14, Serendipity 2018 was considered by students and organizers to have been a spirited success.

In addition to preserving beloved Serendipity traditions such as ColorFest, LakeFest and the annual concert, the organizers of this year’s Serendipity strived to make things fresh. The week boasted a silent disco, a water balloon fight by the lake and Serendipity’s first “For The Culture: Step Show.”

“I really challenged the students to use the whole week to program, so we feel like we’ve got a lot going on,” said Director of Student Leadership and Engagement Timothy Johnson. “Also, if we have all the events on Friday and Saturday, most of the times my staff doesn’t get to enjoy anything because they just work the entire time.

“For me, it was important that both the people who are putting it together and those who experience it get to have a good time.”

Serendipity was largely organized by the Campus Activity Board and the co-Serendipity chairs, senior Lesly Vasquez and junior Dwayne Duncan, in conjunction with Johnson. According to Duncan, a driving inspiration behind the planning of Serendipity was to make it a week to remember.

“What Lesly, CAB and I put on was legendary,” Duncan said. “I had a student contact me and tell me that it was because of this concert that his senior year was complete. It was worthwhile. I’m just happy that it was historic and memorable.”

The step show was a very well-received event that the organizers hope will become a yearly staple of Serendipity. Guilford hosted two other colleges, Salem College and North Carolina Central University, to compete and showcase their skills.

“The For The Culture step show was definitely something that Dwayne had in mind. It was new, it was innovative and it was something that was never done before,” Vasquez said. “We were looking for something that was new, something that was fresh, something that the students would actually be interested in.

“I feel like now there’s this new tradition at Guilford, and something to look forward to next year as well.”

One aspect the organizers appreciated about the inclusion of the step show was how it served to involve other communities in Serendipity traditions. Vasquez emphasized the importance of Serendipity and community engagement.

“I think the students in general understanding community (is important),” Vasquez said. “This year, we wanted Serendipity to be more community involved, and to bring us together to celebrate the community and culture, and what we have to offer.”

The Saturday concert is considered by many to be Serendipity’s most exciting feature. In addition to headliner Waka Flocka Flame, students saw energetic performances by Sevyn Streeter, Tigo B and O.T. Genasis.

“Watching people’s facial expressions when they saw the artists for the first time was worth it all,” Duncan said. “My main objective was to make sure that the student body had a week of a lifetime.”

Vasquez highlighted the significance of Serendipity as an event for students and by students.

“I think watching other students enjoy the concert was the best thing. It’s definitely something I enjoy every year,” Vasquez said. “Everything CAB does, we do for the students. The priority is students at all times. It’s really amazing to see the hard work pay off at the end. Especialy seeing Waka on stage, it was like, ‘This is it. This is the last thing on the list.’ This really showed how much our hard work paid off.

Johnson was pleased with the student body’s reception of and enthusiasm for Serendipity.

“I’ve heard nothing but great things. People are already talking about it for next year,” Johnson said. “I’m a big proponent of, ‘Did the clientele have the best experience possible, and did they feel like things happened smoothly and professionally?’ And that is a hard ‘yes.’”