Victorfest tailgate offers fellowship and fun to students new and old

Before saying goodbye to summer, the welcome week events at Victorfest have given students, new and old, the opportunity to come together in order to kick the year off right. With funnel cakes, impromptu dancing, and the chance to meet someone new, the Victorfest tailgate party offered just that.

After the NKU women’s soccer team faced off against WKU on Sunday, a tailgate party was put on for NKU students before the men’s soccer team was set to play the UK team. According to President Geoffrey Mearns, hundreds of students, many of them incoming freshmen, flooded the field next to the soccer stadium.

Traditional fair food was offered to students, such as burgers, walking tacos, roasted ears of corn and snow cones. A DJ played the latest hits, which gave students a chance to dance and have fun with friends before their classes on Monday.

Taylor Leach, a sophomore music audio production major, remembered how she felt trying to make new friends as a freshman and she witnessed first-hand just how meaningful the event is for this year’s incoming freshmen.

“I heard a group of freshmen talking about how events like these make it easier to meet people and make friends,” Leach said. “I thought the same thing when I was in their place last year.”

Upperclassmen also enjoyed the tailgate because they got the chance to meet students from any major or extracurricular organization. Brenton Stirm, a sophomore audio production and music technology double major, was drawn back to this year’s tailgate after the experience he had last year.

“It gives new students an opportunity to meet a lot of people,” Stirm said. “They get to see all the different organizations, and it’s a nice social gathering.”

Organizations of all kinds gathered by the bleachers, in order to welcome incoming freshmen to campus. Theta Chi was one of the many fraternities to have brothers mingling with students, and senior economics major and Theta Chi brother Patrick Reagan knows that the tailgate party was as important for the organizations as it was for the individual attendants.

“It’s a great way for us to engage with new students of NKU and be together as brothers and have a good time before the soccer game,” Regan said. “It fosters good campus culture and it’s a fun time to be with my brothers.”

Cornhole, a tailgate favorite, was available to break the ice between incoming freshmen, and it was hard to glance around without seeing a football being tossed around. Mearns took time from his busy schedule to socialize with students and enjoy the beautiful weather.

“It’s a great way to begin the school year,” Mearns said. “New students can get engaged with the whole aspects of what it’s like to be on a college campus.”

Before dodging one of the many footballs flying around the field,Mearns also commented on how tailgates lead to further engagement not only with organizations, but with NKU as a whole.

“Classes are very important, but we all know students who are engaged in social activities, attending athletic events, become more emotionally attached to the university and their academic success goes up,” Mearns said. “It’s a great way to experience the full college life.”

As students filed out of the field to watch the men’s soccer game, many of them left with new friends, and one of many memories they’ll make during their time at NKU.