Hasting’s College’s first “pet picnic party and concert by the creek” was held on Wednesday, September 12, between the Hazelrigg Student Union (HSU) and the Gray Center. Students came to eat food, play yard games, listen to musical performances and enjoy the weather as all classes were cancelled for Assessment Day.
The event was organized by Kimberly Milovac, director of first-year experience, and Dr. Barbara Sunderman, vice president for academic affairs, to give students something to do as classes were canceled for the collegiate learning assessment.
Six student and faculty members, along with the HC drum line, performed during the three-hour event.
“Most of them (the performers) I found out about by word of mouth … I sent them a quick message like ‘Hey, would you be interested in performing something for kind of an open mic event?’ and they agreed, thankfully,” Milovac said.
As part of the event, students, faculty and staff were encouraged to bring their pets to add to the fun.
“We’re just glad that we could provide something for the students and staff and faculty and the pets of course. It’s nice when people can bring their pets out, so it humanizes them to the students,” Milovac said.
One component of the activity was to help students de-stress. Four white canvases were placed in the grass with paint and painting supplies so students could paint whatever they wished on the murals. A small box of rice and balloons were also provided so students could make stress balls.
“The idea behind the murals is that I really think that painting is an activity where you have to put down your phone, and you can kind of just concentrate on what you are doing. I think it’s a relaxing activity,” Milovac said.
The on-campus group, Fire circle, also helped with the event. They provided two fire pits and supplies for students to make s’mores. Fire Circle members also handed out small cards to encourage people to come to their meetings on Thursday and Sunday every week.
“We thought the s’mores might be a nice addition for this event just as an additional component but also to get the word out about circle,” Milovac said.
Planning for the event started only two and a half weeks ago. Because of the short planning time, Milovac had a few concerns before the event was set up, but all issues were taken care of in time.
“We’re just so thankful for everybody that helped out because I wasn’t really sure if there was electricity down by there. I wasn’t sure if they were going to be mowing the lawn or if people would be available and interested in performing. So we kind of just wanted to throw it all together, and it worked out really well I think,” Milovac said.