By Clay Thompson | Intern
One of Baylor’s largest social events during Welcome Week, The Big Event, created a space for new students to gather and engage in a plethora of activities on Saturday night inside the Bill Daniel Student Center, on Fifth Street and Fountain Mall.
The Big Event included inflatable slides, obstacle courses, food vendors and mini-golf. Many students showed up to participate and socialize during the event.
Bailey Lewallen, a traditions leader for New Student Programs and one of the organizers of the event, said some of the many activities students participated in included plush bear stuffing in the Barfield Drawing Room, taking pictures at the photo booth, arcade games at Common Grounds and lawn games.
“Our main goal with New Student Programs is [for] students to be able to build community with one another. They are all new students here; it’s kind of hard to make friends in an environment like this, so fostering an environment of excitement and fun is one of the best ways for people to meet each other and hopefully, make new friends,” Lewallen said.
Sacramento, California freshman Hannah Jane Cunningham said The Big Event was one of the first events she had experienced on campus. Cunningham said she was surprised by how welcomed people made her feel.
“I thought it was going to be really busy and crowded and I would kind of just be a wallflower, but everyone has been so welcoming and I’ve just gotten involved in a lot of different things,” Cunningham said. “I was kind of shy and nervous about tonight but this eliminated any fears that I had.”
Cunningham said this event allowed her to learn more about Baylor’s history. In the lobby of the Barfield Drawing room, she pointed out the Alamo flag hanging on the wall and said she had read about Baylor history while walking around the room. She also said she was also looking forward to participating in more activities.
“I did some dancing outside. They were doing the Cha-Cha Slide and the Cupid Shuffle, so that was exciting as well,” Cunningham said.
One of the more popular areas of the event that night was the impromptu dance floor in front of the large stage on Fountain Mall, where a DJ played music to the delight of many of the attendees. Many students gathered around to dance to several songs.
Cunningham said The Big Event got her excited about her college experience and the upcoming semester.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully just becoming friends with more people on campus,” Cunningham said. “I didn’t know anyone coming here, so I want to make new connections.”