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'An inviting welcome back to campus': Carolina Union plans for 28th annual FallFest

Students enjoy Fall Fest on Aug. 14, 2022.

New students have the opportunity to partake in a UNC tradition this fall — FallFest is an annual welcome back to campus celebration open to both new and returning students. 

This year's FallFest will be hosted on Sunday, Aug. 20, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. following New Student Convocation. Last year, FallFest had giveaways, free food, games, music and both indoor and outdoor activities. 

FallFest logistics are primarily planned by Carolina Union professional employees. Tori Holder, associate director of communications and creative services, said that the Union staff wants to keep the event fresh for returning students while also bringing back popular activities from past years. 

Holder said that this year’s FallFest will be offering favorite activities from prior years such as a build-your-own ram activity and a blacklight party.

“FallFest traditionally has had the focus being first-year students, but really all students, everyone from first-year to graduate students, should feel welcome at FallFest,” Holder said. 

Victoria Boykin is the associate director for event services at the Union. Holder and Boykin co-chair the sponsorship committee and manage the event's social media.

Boykin said that the Union is hoping to provide an exciting welcome back experience for all students. 

“We do have a large number of new students, but we do see a lot of returning students as well as Carolina community members, like staff and faculty, so continuing to have an inviting welcome back to campus experience for everyone,” Boykin said. 

This year's event will be the 28th annual FallFest and the second FallFest after returning from the pandemic. Holder said that they were also considering the COVID-19 impact on this year’s planning.  

“Some upperclassmen may not have had the opportunity to go to FallFest in the past, so we really hope that people come out this year,” Holder said.

Boykin said that student feedback is highly valued in planning the event going forward. 

“We know that things have changed a lot post-pandemic, and so we’re wanting to have some of that feedback,” she said. 

SmallFest is another component of FallFest that will take place in the Pit during the second week of class. During SmallFest, attendees learn more about getting involved in student organizations. 

Last year, over 350 clubs participated in SmallFest. 

UNC Quizbowl Club President Jonathan Shauf said that last year’s SmallFest was one of the most important ways for students to find out about the club. 

“I definitely think the format of it being in the Pit with people just spilling through has really helped it,” Shauf said. “At UNC, we have such a compact campus and everyone sort of goes through the same area.”

More information about FallFest will be released as the event date nears. Boykin said she recommends checking the FallFest website for updates and following the Carolina Union on Instagram.

@dailytarheel | 

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