Fall Fest reaches students in distanced format

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Jesse Wiederhold/NW MAKING A PITCH-Jakob Lippert, junior studying History and German, represented NMU CFSE during this years Fall Fest.

Jesse Wiederhold

Fall Fest is a long-standing tradition at NMU and makes for a welcoming return to campus. Some may feel overwhelmed on their first days of classes but fear not – Fall Fest was a breath of fresh air for those who attended. The weather couldn’t have been any more perfect either. It was a sunny, breezy day in Marquette. Due to the nature of the event, it was easy to orchestrate in a safe, socially distanced way. Free food, stickers and fun social interactions were just a few reasons Fall Fest was so great this year.

The turnout seemed just as lively as last year, despite the current world situation. A focus on Fall Fest this year was splitting the event into two days. First of all, this made social distancing more possible and secondly, it made a fun event last twice as long. Student organizations and clubs set up Monday while Tuesday was for local businesses and groups.

“We look to advertise through our resident advisors and resident directors and get the word out to students,” said Jeff Korpi, director of NMU Housing and Residence Life. “The location of the event certainly lends itself to students being able to find it pretty easily.”

This was very true; Fall Fest occurs on the main stretch of NMUs campus. It sticks out like a sore thumb between Jamrich Hall and the science buildings.

“It’s just a great way in the interesting times we’re in for students to still connect with NMU, the community and other students,” Korpi said. “They walk away with a handful of goodies and the potential for meeting future employers or clubs and organizations. This is a long-standing tradition.”

Korpi also elaborated on the new two-day plan, which seemed to be well-accepted by most.

“With it being spread out over a couple of days, that’s a new twist on the event. I think it leads to a little less commotion and just makes things easier,” Korpi said.

Something inviting about Fall Fest is that potential employers set up booths. This is great for students, as well as businesses to network and make connections. In a COVID-19 world, there has been a lack of that. Fall Fest was a safe way to make that happen in the name of NMU.

“The Center for Student Enrichment partners with Lake Superior Community Partnership. They get the businesses to sign up,” said Rachel Harris, director of NMUs Center for Student Enrichment and Superior Edge. “It’s a nice partnership we have with them.”

Harris also agreed that the two-day split was a nice new way to incorporate Fall Fest safely for students returning to NMU.

Harris explained that in the past some student organizations have been made to share tables. This year spacing worked out in favor of everyone; it seems.

“Our numbers are a little bit lower than they’ve been, but we are still pleased with the turnout,” Harris said. “I got my pizza, so I’m happy. Now, I’m going to walk around and see what’s for dessert.”

If students missed Fall Fest this year, the good news is it happens every year. There’s something interesting for everybody, and at the least – there’s free stickers and free food.