My first year at Rider, I quickly discovered it was a suitcase school. Most weekends, I’d be hanging around campus wondering where everyone went, if I didn’t go home myself.
How can we possibly get students to stick around for the weekend, if there is nothing to do on the weekend?
Now, apparently, they will be holding events on the weekends. For the first two weekends, we had two events that were normally held during the week: the Awareness Fair and Cranberry Fest. I heard the Awareness Fair did not have the same turnout as it normally does. I didn’t go because it’s my last semester, and I’m not joining anything else.
I did attend Cranberry Fest. It was the same as it usually was: band playing, pulled pork, inflatable obstacle courses, the radio, our mascots, pulled pork and of course kettle corn. One new edition was a fancy-looking section where 21+ students could try seasonal drinks. Other people seemed to enjoy it. I came for the pulled pork.
I stayed for about an hour. Sitting at one of the tables, I was looking around and saw a few families showed up for the event, which was the main goal, I believe: to get the community involved. But I was thinking, how many commuters are here for this? Professors? The lines for food didn’t wrap around the Student Recreation Center twice like it normally did either.
It makes me question how these events will unfold in the future. Maybe we need to rethink how we throw certain events.
Rider is a small campus, but we have dreams of being like Princeton. How can we make our events better? We should make our events good enough that if I ask a commuter, they will say “Heck yes, I’ll drive an hour to be here on a Saturday when I could be home watching Worst Cooks in America.”
But I think we need more than just our usual events. Looking at the events calendar, there aren’t many upcoming weekend events besides the fall concert. What do you have planned for us, Rider? What is going to make me not want to go home to my cat?
I hope that the weekends of boredom and longing for home will cease as Rider comes up with better ideas for weekend events. So far, the hype seems slow.
Senior communication studies major
Printed in the 9/21/16 issue.