Laker Kickoff sees changes for 2016

Increase in attendance causes event to change location

By Warren Sink | 8/23/16 2:44pm

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GVL / Emily Frye The class of 2019 enjoying a night of dancing at the kick-off party on the Wednesday evening. The event included free pizza and a dj for a night full of fun after the transitions events.


For the incoming class of 2020, the Laker Traditions team has prepared the Laker For a Lifetime Kickoff event to celebrate a new journey at Grand Valley State University Aug. 24.

According to the coordinator for this tradition, student Julia Sturvist, who has planned a Hawaiian-Luau theme for the event, “this is the first time freshmen have no boundaries.”

After the new student orientation and ice-breaking transitions, which will occur in the Fieldhouse Arena, the newcomers will exit to DJ Bigg Dogg, who will curate dance music. The event will feature games such as cornhole or ladder-golf, and pizza, popcorn, desserts and beverages will be served.

Dan Ziegenfelder, programming chair of the Laker Traditions team, works directly with both GVSU faculty and the coordinators of the team to make sure events throughout the year cultivate the Laker spirit, all the while, accommodating the sheer number of attendees.

At past Laker for a Lifetime Kickoffs, Ziegenfelder said students exiting the Fieldhouse walked through several activity stations to access the DJ, games or food.

Naturally, he said, students would congregate at one particular station, while others would beeline for another. This created a congestion problem as nearly 4,000 freshmen exited the Fieldhouse.

To combat this, Ziegenfelder said the kickoff will take place in the circle pathway outside the Fieldhouse, near the entrance to the pool.

“This year, (the Laker Traditions team) moved food to be in one direction, games to be in another and the DJ to be in another,” he said. “There will be multiple pathways for people to exit. There will be more of a flow so people can see everything that we have to offer.”

Although this event is geared toward freshmen, the kickoff event is only one of many Laker traditions. Over the course of the year, ten traditions events are put on for students to attend.

Each event from Family Day to the ExtravaGRANDza, which takes place at the end of the winter semester close to exam-time, are coordinated by the Laker Traditions team, comprised of current GVSU students.

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