By Katie Krahulik, News Editor
Students enjoyed a jam-packed day of entertainment with a plethora of activities at Hofstra’s annual Fall Fest on Sunday, Oct. 7, despite safety concerns spurred by the recent attack at a concert in Las Vegas.
Under pressures brought about by the mass shooting at the Jason Aldean concert in Nevada, coordinators and university officials were held to high liability over the weekend.
“In light of the tragedy in Las Vegas, of course that was first and foremost on our mind,” said Karen O’Callaghan, the director of Public Safety. “We always have a security protocol in place, but [returning students] can see that we obviously increased the security that we did this year, which included bag checks and scanning for metal objects, etc.”
All staff members working the event were credentialed beforehand. Visitors were funneled into different lines, however everyone had to be scanned with a metal detector.
“We try to be as nonintrusive as we can while making sure we performed the proper security measures for the event,” O’Callaghan said. “Even though we do our own security, when we feel we don’t have enough staff to secure the event, we then would bring in staff to assist. We did this for Fall Fest. We bring in an outside contractor to assist us … We definitely increase staff when we feel it’s necessary.”
The main event included a headliner performance by Lil Wayne, whom many students found to be an exciting element of the day.
Sam Padam, a junior information technology major, could not contain his thrill to see one of his favorite artists. “Lil Wayne was a fun and great experience that really got a lot of people together,” he said.
Prior to the headliner, the festival also featured the bands Bad Mary, C+C Music Factory and Unforgettable Fire.
Beside the concert stage was a carnival with rides, games, food vendors and activities for students, friends and families to enjoy. Folks of all ages filled the premises during Fall Fest – which doubles as Family Weekend for loved ones to spend time with students while enjoying amenities and unique festivities on Hofstra’s campus.
This year’s Pride Expo kicked off the day’s events. Originally, the Expo started out as a float building contest between organizations on campus. Today, it has turned into an interactive exhibit for students to engage in. The Pride Expo includes students from Greek life, Danceworks and pre-professional groups.
“My organization, Phi Delta Theta, partnered with Delta Gamma and Danceworks,” said Phil Wulff, a junior video/television and business major. “All three organizations worked very hard throughout the week leading up to the expo and we all had a great time.”
The floats had to be a 360-degree exhibit which incorporate recycled materials. Some floats were philanthropy oriented, including Phi Delta Theta’s, whose exhibit was a recreation of Central Perk from the show “Friends.” They sold coffee, had a coin fountain and a photo booth. The donations were to be sent to different philanthropies including an organization called Service for Sight and an ASL charity.
“The Pride Expo is great because it gets everyone involved … it gets the entire Hofstra community to work together to make something great. I really look forward to doing it again next year,” Wulff said.
This year’s first place float was Alpha Phi, Pi Kappa Alpha and Alpha Epsilon Phi with a “Stranger Things” themed exhibit. Second place was Sigma Alpha Mu, Delta Phi Epsilon and Phi Kappa Theta with an “American Horror Story” themed exhibit. Third place was Phi Delta Theta, Danceworks and Delta Gamma with their “Friends” themed exhibit.
Fall Fest is also where the Pride Court is decided, and this year’s winners were announced on stage prior to the performances. Nominees were narrowed down after the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement picked seven finalists from a pool of applicants. Four took home the crown and sash: seniors Robert English, Lucero Sosa, DeVante London and Mary Anna Mcfarlin. The decision of who is crowned is based 75 percent on the votes of a panel of three Hofstra faculty members from different departments; the remaining 25 percent comes from ballots submitted by students in the audience when the candidates show off their talent.
These students were chosen based on their involvement and leadership on campus as well as their performance during the variety show on Friday, Oct. 6.
English, one of the seniors crowned on Saturday, said, “After coming to Hofstra as the most quiet kid, to become royalty my senior year is really incredible for me.” English won the judges over by writing a rap about his Hofstra experience and dancing along with it. He said, “It’s a lot of fun and an honor to represent my senior class.”