NovaFest participation varies by event

Kelsey Ruane

Last weekend’s circus-themed NovaFest saw a varied amount of student participation in the different events planned by Campus Activities Team.

Ticket sales for the concert featuring Gym Class Heroes were down from last year at about 650 tickets sold in advance, according to Assistant Director of Student Development for Programming Nikki Hornsberry.

However, more tickets were sold at the door this year than last year.

“As always, the Taste of Philly event was a hit,” Hornsberry said, adding that about 1,000 students attended and waited in lines for free food from local businesses including Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s Steaks and Rita’s Water Ice.

The winner of the Taste of Philly poll for best cheese steaks was Pat’s, while Campus Corner won for favorite local pizza.

The hypnotist Erik Kand’s show was also sold out on Friday night.

“The Field Fest [on Saturday afternoon] did not have as great of a turnout as last year’s, due to students headed for non-NovaFest activities,” Hornsberry said.

A crowd gathered on West Campus around 12 p.m. on Saturday, according to Director of Public Safety Dave Tedjeske. The Department of Public Safety had about 20 to 25 officers available to respond to various problems on campus during the day.

In addition to West Campus, the Quad historically requires extra Public Safety officers on NovaFest weekend.

“We recognize that NovaFest is a campus-wide celebration,” Tedjeske said.

The department looks at problems from the past year in order to prepare for each upcoming NovaFest weekend. Last year, two dumpster fires occurred on West Campus, while none occurred this year.

“It was a nice student gathering overall,” Tedjeske said, adding that the department’s main goal is to monitor the activity to make sure it stays safe.

Activities on West Campus included a pick-up basketball game and a pig roast.

Public Safety officers cleared the crowd on West Campus around 4:30 p.m. Radnor Police were also on duty to help break up the crowd of thousands, according to Tedjeske. There were no arrests made throughout the day.

“Students, for the most part were extremely cooperative,” Tedjeske said. “We basically just had to walk through the crowd to clear the area.”

“We assess how the weekend went in terms of if it can be allowed in future years,” he said. “[The West Campus gathering] is not a tradition I’d like to see set in stone.”

This year, SGA organized a student-volunteer clean-up of West Campus on Sunday morning. A group of about 20 SGA members and other volunteers met at 10 a.m. They made a concerted effort to recycle as much of the garbage as they could, according to Bryan Wagner, student body president.

“I was really impressed that that occurred,” Tedjeske said.

This year, the concert began at 5 p.m. – hours earlier than last year’s concert.

“I had a ticket to the concert, but I didn’t go,” said sophomore John Honochick. “People were still on West Campus. If the concert were later, or even on Friday, I would have gone.”

The lack of student involvement in CAT-sponsored NovaFest activities hurts future NovaFest weekends, according to Hornsberry.

“If students don’t support it as much as they voice their opinions about it, NovaFest won’t be as big of a success,” Hornsberry said.

“We’ll reevaluate the whole schedule of events,” said Tom Mogan, director of Student Development. “It’s too early to decide what kind of changes will be made for next year.”