Festival of Life weekend can be an exciting weekend of games, worship, and students reuniting with their home churches, but despite the positives, current ENC students see clear inconveniences posed by this event.
Students see altered mealtimes, schedule changes, traffic congestion, and some unruly and loud students traveling throughout the campus. Our regular undergraduate campus usually is home to about 800 students, with the addition of FOL attendees, campus sees close to 1,500 students during the weekend.
FOL is a significant, positive event, one that has existed for decades, but in order to continue in the best interests for all, changes can be made to the way in which FOL is hosted.
Festival of Life is a beautiful event that nurtures the spiritual growth of hundreds of people. At the same time, we cannot forget about the needs of the hundreds of students that live on ENC’s campus.
Those who plan FOL have done a good job communicating with people like Director of Food Services Rick Harmon in setting specific mealtimes for the participants of the festival. This alters mealtimes for current students, which can often be a hassle to those with set schedules.
Since students may not have the flexibility to eat at different times, meal times should also remain the same for ENC residents to coincide with their planned schedules.
The commons isn’t the only place that can get crowded when the campus population nearly doubles. To avoid traffic on campus, I would argue that similar methods could be used for spaces such as Hebrews, the library, and the dugout. Streamlining an event like this by keeping the festival-goers separate from students would avoid frustration and inconvenience for both parties.
Additionally, ENC should organize events off campus for students trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of FOL. Students should not feel like they need to stay in their rooms to avoid the hectic, loud, and undeniably different atmosphere during an important time in the semester.
FOL is a fantastic event that brings our campus together in service of those children of God who come to visit, but organizers of the event need to do more to consider the impact that FOL can have on a stressed college student.