The smell of hot pizza wafts through the heavy humid air as blaring music and laughter echoes off the university walls as the annual Fresh Fusion begins late Friday afternoon.
Another noise, an almost rhythmic metal clamor reverberates through the parking lot by Loch Norse and attracts a crowd of spectators who discover the sound is of a car being smashed by a crew of men with hammers.
And so commences Alpha Tau Omega’s annual Car Bash.
Onlookers were welcome and even encouraged by the ATO men to go ahead and take a swing at the already beaten car.
According to sophomore accounting major and ATO member Chris Benvie, the reason for the activity is simple: public relations.
“It’s just really good for PR. A lot of people want to bash a car and it helps get our name out there so guys will hopefully like us and rush,” Benvie said.
During Fresh Fusion, students had the opportunity to create tie dye, eat free pizza and snow cones, hang out and walk around to see all of the different organizations NKU has to offer
One example is the Vertical Frontier Climbing Club.
“I’ve been climbing for about two years now. I found out about the club through a university event freshman year and joined the club with very little experience,” said Nick Canchola, junior international studies major and Spanish minor.
Now, climbing is something Canchola does frequently, usually during the spring or summer.
“We also go white water rafting, backpacking, camping, anything outdoors really,” Canchola said.
He said Red River Gorge is a hot spot for the club because of its locality; it is only about a two hour drive from NKU.
According to Jeff Iker, coordinator of new student orientation, attendance numbers have consistently gone up every year for events planned by the Activities Programming Board.
Iker said although he did not get into the programming role until around 2010, it has been encouraging to see the change in the mindset of NKU students.
“They’re coming here because they want to come here, not because it was cheap or their last choice,” Iker said.
Additionally, students are coming from all over, not just the local area. “They’re happy to be here and they’re populating these events and making them a whole lot cooler,” Iker added.