Lifetime Lakers kick off school year

GVL / Amanda Greenwood
2013 Laker for a Lifetime

Amanda Greenwood

GVL / Amanda Greenwood 2013 Laker for a Lifetime

Hannah Lentz

As the freshmen class at Grand Valley State University was led out of the Fieldhouse following orientation, shouts of “Go Lakers” and the infamous “GV Nation” could be heard loud and clear over the sound of the GVSU marching band at this year’s Laker for a Lifetime Kickoff party.

Hosted by the Future Alumni Association, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Student Senate, this event set into motion the fun-filled year planned by the Laker Traditions Team.

Based on the turnout at this year’s celebration, the Laker for a Lifetime Kickoff party has grown not only in attendance numbers, but also in activities provided. From dancing and corn toss competitions to free pizza and community service opportunities, this year’s event dwarfs the pilot kickoff held last year at Robinson Field.

“Last year we had tie-dye and ice cream, this year we had a DJ and more people than we could have hoped for,” Student Senate President Ricardo Benavidez said. “The effort put into this event is quite obvious from the results that we received.”

Planned and executed by students themselves, the Laker for a Lifetime Kickoff party is a collaborative event between all involved and required dedication and an “out of the box” type approach. Heading up this ambitious project was senior Alyssa Smith, department chair of the event.

“A lot of time and effort was put into this event since it was the first of its kind,” Smith said. “My coordinator (Erika Noth) and all the volunteers who helped were so supportive.”
Student Life Director Michelle Burke oversaw the newly established Laker Traditions Team, which organized the event.

“When you look on Twitter the first thing that students say is ‘where is the party,’ and where better to have a party than on campus surrounded by your classmates?” Burke said.

Whether students participated by dancing near the DJ, eating pizza under the tent or by simply observing the event and meeting new people, the kickoff celebration for the 2013-2014 school year allowed for a supportive experience for students.

“The party was such an amazing experience,” freshmen Ashley Tallarico said. “It helped me meet new people and it was great to just be crazy with all the freshmen.”

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