Pet picnic connects HC campus

The second pets picnic and concert by the creek brought more than 300 students, faculty and staff out for lunch on Wednesday. The event, placed between the Hazelrigg Student Union (HSU) and the Gray Center, included yard games, painting, do-it-yourself stress balls, and live performances from students and faculty. 

Kimberly Milovac, director of first-year experience, organized the event again after the positive feedback from last year. The event was open to any people-friendly pets, this year bringing in multiple dogs and one snake. 

There were a few new changes to this year’s picnic. While last year’s painting was done on giant murals, Student Engagement provided tiles for students to do their own individual paintings this year. Students were able to take the paintings with them or leave for Student Engagement to hang up as a collage in the hallway of the HSU. There were also postcards with the Class of 2023 group photo for students to take.

“It’s nice to utilize this beautiful campus, and to have staff, faculty and students all come together to enjoy each other’s company,” 
Milovac said.

According to Milovac, they were able to find only a handful of students and faculty willing to perform since others were potentially nervous about the larger crowd. Performers included Senior Carly Cremers, Studio 200 Director Emily Dunbar, Dr. Eric Kennedy, a post-doctoral fellow and drummers from the Hastings College Marching Band.

There was some worry as to how the event would turn out. Last year’s picnic landed on a day of the collegiate learning assessment, meaning classes had been canceled. Along with that, there had been a significant amount of rain this year, leaving parts of the lawn still muddy and making it impossible to do s’mores like last year. 

“Some people enjoy the lawn games and some people enjoy the art side of things so it is just giving them options,” Milovac said. 

First-year Morgan O’Neill, decided to go when she read an email that said dogs and entertainment. According to O’Neill, there wasn’t anything she would change but the picnic “could be improved if people brought their cats. But it’s fine.” 

Junior Becky Cox admitted she doesn’t always go to many events, but the picnic was an intriguing one. “There were pets; they’re amazing in every way and there was some really good music. And it’s a good way for students to socialize both with fellow students and staff,” said Cox. “It’s a nice open chill environment.” 

Milovac hopes that the pets picnic can become an annual event after the success the first two years have brought.