George Washington University took the three-day weekend as an opportunity to gather as a community and showcase different student organizations during the inaugural Presidents Weekend Palooza, with events taking place from Thursday through Sunday.
The goal, GW Student Association Vice President Kate Carpenter said, was to build camaraderie among the student body and celebrate being bonded by the buff and blue.
“A group of us students wanted to make people see that there's a side of GW that they probably never thought existed,” she said.
Presidents Weekend Palooza was put on by students for students. Carpenter, a junior political communications major, has envisioned such a weekend since her first year on campus. She and 15 other like-minded students came together and verbalized the idea in early October before hitting the ground running in December.
University resources such as the Division for Student Affairs and the Office of the President supported the student-led charge and lent helping hands whenever needed. The student team that made the weekend possible used Instagram extensively to market their events.
The weekend included a diverse range of events. There was a Red Cross blood drive, concerts showcasing various student artists, a student organization banner competition, dodgeball tournament, pop-up thrift shop and a brunch at the Mount Vernon campus. There was also a pregame tailgate, Rally in the Alley, prior to the men’s basketball game Saturday night against Rhode Island. Campus Store provided giveaway prize packs, and free food was available at every event.
Carpenter was pleased that many of the participating student organizations whose paths don’t normally cross were able to interact with one another and showcase their specialties.
“It was really reaching out to student organizations that we feel come from lots of different aspects of campus to be able to give them a platform,” Carpenter said.
Student leaders thought it was important to plan an event that had never existed in the return to on-campus classes. They also hope this was the first of many Presidents Weekend Paloozas and that it becomes a GW rite of passage.
“We hope that in 50 years this will be something that's still happening on our campus,” Carpenter said. “Nobody will remember our names, but they'll know that this was on our campus, and it's meant to stay. I'm so thankful for the support from the students that have helped and the support from the university.”
Below are photos from Tiny Dorm Student Concert, Pop! Thrift Fashion Show and Pop-Up Shop and the Rally in the Alley tailgate: