Students flooded the Front Lawn on the evening of Sept. 4 to kick off the school year with crazy outfits and a massive game of Bunco during Clash N Roll.
This annual event, which concludes Welcome Weekend, brings the student body together prior to the start of fall classes. However, for the past two years, the Front Lawn has lacked the clashing outfits and dice-throwing that is characteristic of this popular event. Clash N Roll has been absent from the Welcome Weekend schedule for the past couple years because of regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alyssa Humphreys, senior psychology major, is a Community Life intern who helped prepare and run the Welcome Weekend and Clash N Roll events.
“We’re so excited to have [Clash N Roll] back,” Humphreys said. “It’s an event that brings everyone together right at the start of the year. It’s such high energy and it sets the tone for the rest of the year. We’ve been through a lot of struggles with COVID and we weren’t able to do this event, so it’s really cool to be on the other side of that and be able to start this event again.”
Humphreys said that Community Life and the other departments involved in Welcome Weekend have been prepping for the events, including Clash N Roll, since last year. The process has involved collaboration among many departments to create a memorable and helpful weekend for students.
“Prepping for Welcome Weekend is really going back to why we are doing it — trying to create events that are going to build community [and] trying to build events that will connect students to each other so they can enter into this year with some connections,” Humphreys said. “Once you have community and once you have connections, that’s really what’s going to lead you to be able to stay at this school and enjoy your college experience.”
Unlike the other events during Welcome Weekend, Clash N Roll was open to both new and returning students. This year, the event was a new experience for sophomores and juniors as well as freshmen.
“I feel like because it’s come back and it’s new, some people are like, ‘What is this?’” said Charisma Rios, freshman architecture major. “I already knew about it, but I feel like it’s more awkward this time around because before it was an ongoing thing and then COVID hit and it went away.”
Even though it was bran new to most of the student body, students enjoyed the return of the event, as more than 1,000 students came to the Front Lawn to participate.
“Looking around, it seems fun,” said Delaney Keller, freshman graphic design major. “I love the idea of dressing up.”
Throughout the weekend and into Clash N Roll, Humphreys most enjoyed seeing connections form during events.
“Even at the smaller events like the Commuter Brunch or the This or That Kick-Back, [my favorite part is] when you meet a student [and] you see what they like, you meet another student who also has similar interests and you connect them together and that becomes a friendship,” Humphreys said. “I’ve seen multiple students this weekend connect at an event and come to Clash N Roll together, which has been so cool.”