Saturday marked one of F&M’s favorite annual traditions: Spring Arts. Despite waking up to a fresh blanket of snow that spanned across campus and unprecedented cool weather, The College Reporter staff was thrilled to see such a big–and consistent–turnout of the campus community throughout the afternoon. Students huddled under the white tent on Hartman Green, warming themselves by heaters as they bumped and swayed along with the bands and DJs pumping music out to the crowd. Long lines extended from the numerous food trucks parked along Hartman, as students waited upwards of 30 minutes just to munch on warm funnel cake and pulled pork sliders.
Spring Arts is traditionally a time for students to congregate on Hartman, lay out on blankets and warm themselves under the Spring sun. It’s a time to, briefly, at least, forget about assignments, papers, upcoming exams, the end of the school year, and graduation. It’s a time to come together as a community, as friends, and as students, and revel in warm weather, good music, and free food. Even though Spring Arts was not the traditionally warm campus event it has been in previous years, F&M students still came out to spend time on Hartman and make the most of the beloved event.
Spring Arts was a definite success, with enthusiastic bands and happy students enjoying each other’s company. With a high turnout at an event outside in the cold and in the snow, the College Reporter staff began to wonder how to better motivate students to come to other events on campus and have a more visible campus community presence. Why does only a small portion of the community come to Common Hour, despite the fact that everyone is free between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.? How can we engage students on campus to play a part in the development of a stronger community that continues to remain visible at events like Spring Arts, but not at others?
It’s true: Spring Arts is fun; it allows students to take a break from their hectic schedules and relax for a couple of hours. But on a college campus where learning and knowledge reign as king, how can our campus not only develop programming that draws a large presence of students, but also help to augment the strength of the community? We’re not quite sure yet, but we as the Staff of the College Reporter want to continue having these kinds of discussions.