On Saturday, Oct. 27, the University of Dallas Residence Hall Association and Campus Activities Board came together to create the biggest event of the fall semester, Fall Brawl.
Fall Brawl aimed to capture a small town festival ambience with games like bobbing for apples, cornhole and a pumpkin painting contest. The duck pond booth offered goldfish as a prize. Families and students lined up in front of food truck windows across the mall. The evening was capped off with live bands to “brawl” for a place to perform at next semester’s annual Groundhog party in the park.
The new event was named by student intern Maria Labus, who organized the event with the help of fellow student interns Ella Sullivan, Clare Hoelscher, and Becca Luna.
RHA and CAB wove together former fall semester events, Fall Fest and Battle of the Bands, to create Fall Brawl. Much like the PrimaFaira event from the spring of 2018, Fall Brawl blended two well-known campus functions into one Saturday night. This was to encourage greater participation, particularly by bringing RHA and CAB together by reaching out to a larger spectrum of students, according to Sullivan.
While CAB had orchestrated Battle of the Bands in previous years, RHA had been in charge of Fall Fest 2017, formerly held in Clark Hall. This year, the new Fall Brawl took place on the mall.
Combining the events generated a number of new opportunities, said Sullivan.
“It makes our budget bigger, it gives us a bigger team, and allows us to put on a bigger and better event over all,” Sullivan said.
Instead of putting on two moderate events, they were able to put on a single, much more impressive night that is Fall Brawl, Sullivan said of former Fall Fest and Battle of the Bands.
Student Sophia Forget found Fall Brawl a great enhancement of the two events. Forget said the entertainment of the booths and music lasted several hours without losing excitement, to make it an all-evening occasion.
“I’m really amazed at how the volunteers and everyone kept the energy high throughout the evening,” wrote Forget, who hopes the event will take place again next year.
Participation surpassed expectations, with students, families, and faculty members present at the seasonal celebration, according to Hoelscher.
“[I’m] very excited about continuing this new campus tradition in the future,” Hoelscher wrote, hoping to make the event bigger and expand activities for Fall Brawl.
RHA and CAB are both under the Office of Student Affairs, but the combination of the two associations through Fall Brawl provided windows to involve students in ways that hadn’t been possible before.
“RHA’s focus is dormitories, and CAB works on things like rec sports and campus events,” Sullivan explained. “RHA gives me an entire team to work with from the dorm representatives, which also gives underclassmen the chance to be involved.”
Involving a bigger group presented few difficulties in planning the event, Labus agreed with Sullivan.
“Our biggest concern was the time frame for planning this event, but everything [fell] into place,” wrote Labus. “We [had] a really great team of people that worked hard to put everything together.”
Fall Brawl presented an unique opportunity for the university community as a whole. Freshman through senior classes were represented in the planning efforts, and faculty and staff took on the part of judges for the competing bands.
“Having students, faculty and staff all participating in our events helps us to accomplish our mission as student leaders,” wrote Labus.