By Madison Boboltz , Staff Writer
Maddie Lowry, Stampede staff co-director, is excited about the events planned for Stampede 2019.
In the past, Stampede has started on a Tuesday, but this year it will take up an entire week.
“We are doing things a little differently this year. Everything has moved back a full day. Welcome Day will be on Monday. That whole day will be all about moving in and saying goodbye to parents,” Lowry said.
That night they will also be initiating a new game called Wild Goose Chase.
The structure of Stampede will be similar to how it has been in the past, though Steering Committee has made a few, slight changes.
“The mornings have kind of been revamped so that every day we have a more consistent schedule. We will have sessions in the mornings that deal with mental health care, learning how to use Canvas or figuring out things for school. We are calling those morning sessions College 1301,” Lowry explained.
Then, in the afternoons, activities such as intramural tournaments will take place. These are fun, laid back activities that allow students to become more acclimated to campus. Events in the evening are more ambitious.
“All of our evening activities will be big, whole group, campus-wide activities. These include Late Night on the Lawn the first night, Paint Wars, campus tag events, movie that the Paramount, and Limelight,” Lowry said.
When asked what event takes the most preparation and planning, Lowry said it depended on who you talked to.
“Assemblies and traditions take a ton of work because we have students who have to rehearse certain roles. Paint Wars requires a lot of set up, so that takes a bunch of work. For me, it’s fall training because I am spending all day working with staff. The biggest event to prepare for, as far as organization goes, will always be Beanie Capping Ceremony with Ice Cream Social afterward because there are so many moving parts. We need everybody, and everybody is going to be running around everywhere,” Lowry replied.
Other events that have taken place in previous years will be happening again. These include HSU Rocks, community service, the Church fair, police cookout and color initiation.
Lowry said that Paint Wars and Paramount Movie Night are always big hits. Those are some events that students are likely to show up to and enjoy.
“It’s a good time to get your student-athletes, your commuters and people who have jobs during the day, all together. Not everyone can be there for those morning and afternoon sessions, but they can make it to those really big, fun ones at night,” Lowry said.
When asked what she would say to encourage students who are hesitant to participate in Stampede events to go anyway, Lowry said it is worth it to at least try.
“I get asked this question a lot. I don’t have a great answer for why students should come to all the events they can. My biggest question back to them would be ‘why not?’ It’s much better than sitting alone in your dorm. But I do understand that it can be really overwhelming. I think that’s why we are really pushing for staff this year to connect, develop relationships early on. Even sending their group texts or calling students to see where they are at can be helpful,” Lowry said.
“We also want staff to highlight major events. For example, we know that asking students to spend an entire day with us may be a lot, but we can say ‘at least come to this.’ Whether or not they are having a great time the entire time, they are at least learning more about campus and will go into their first week with friendly faces they recognize,” Lowry elaborated.
Lowry commented that Stampede staff is intentionally reaching out to incoming students, who in the past have not attended Stampede events as frequently.
“Emma Dantzler is our Student Experience Steering Committee member. Her whole job is to ask how we get these people to come to things. For student athletes, we are having athletic mentors who are assigned to almost every athletic team or organization on campus. I’m really excited about that. Student-athletes have very different schedules, but we have some things highlighted that show events that they need to be at. The goal is for the mentors to take new students from their teams to those events. It will be nice for them to have an upper-classman on their team to take them to that event and be at that event with them,” Lowry said.
Furthermore, they are creating a special space for commuters.
“We are also making a commuter lounge in the basement of Moody. We want to spend some personal time with commuters, so we might do something like take them out for a meal in Abilene. Then we will set up the lounge so that all week long, they have a place to go and hang out. This way they won’t be stuck waiting in their cars for the next event, or going home and not coming back,” Lowry said.
Overall, Lowry hopes each Stampede event will make the incoming students feel encouraged and energized, and she hopes that staff finds the new changes exciting and helpful.