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A peek behind the planning of York College’s annual Spartapalooza

October 23, 2017
Spartapalooza 2017
The 2017 Spartapalooza is planned by students in the Special Events Programming class and looks to build on the success from previous years.

Lauren Hannaford is somewhat of a Spartapalooza expert. 

The 2014 York College of Pennsylvania graduate first helped plan the event as part of her Special Events Programming class (REC250) her junior year, and she was a teaching assistant for the class her senior year.

 “I think in almost every interview I’ve done since I took this class, I’ve used the class as an example,” she says. “I’ve used that experience in a lot of different roles I’ve had since.” 

This year, for the first time, the Area Coordinator in Residence Life at York College is also teaching the class – mentoring a group of seven students as they tackle planning the annual event catered to YCP students, faculty, staff, and their families. 

“It’s been a really fun process being on the other side and helping the students see what the events planning process is like,” Lauren says. 

Students have been working since August. Their work includes:

  • creating a budget;
  • seeking sponsorships and donations;
  • organizing entertainment;
  • lining up food;
  • designing a marketing strategy;
  • and recruiting upwards of 130 volunteers to help them run the event, which generally hosts 1,500 people. 

“What I’m most excited to see is the reactions of the seven students in the class the night of the events,” Lauren says. “The feeling of all your hard work all semester, you finally have a product to show for it. It’s going to be an amazing feeling for them.” 

Spartapalooza will be 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 14 in Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center. 

Lauren hopes the York College community appreciates the hard work her students have put into this year’s Spartapalooza. 

“Don’t just come out to have a good time and eat good food,” she says, “but support your peers and enjoy this event that they’ve planned.” 

More details

Here’s what to look out for: 

Mission of this year’s event: Plan a well-structured event that promotes fun nostalgic memories for entire YCP community in a stress-free environment. 

Theme: When We Were Younger – A Throwback to the 80s and 90s. You’ll see nods to the theme in the entertainment, music, décor and food. 

“We’re trying to keep it a surprise,” Lauren says. 

New this year: One of the most popular events of Spartapalooza is the cardboard regatta, during which teams of students attempt to paddle a cardboard vessel they’ve designed back and forth across the pool. For the first time ever, the regatta will also include a costume contest tied to the event’s theme. 

The student senate, which typically sponsors an annual volleyball tournament as part of the event, is switching things up and instead hosting a wallyball tournament in the racquetball courts. 

Finally, the students have special plans for the Grumbacher’s 32-foot climbing wall, which will be renamed Mount Nittany. They’re hoping to recruit enough climbers who can reach the top of the wall so by the end of the night they’ll have achieved the “summit” of the 2,077-foot mountain. 

By making use of parts of the venue that haven’t been used in previous year’s Spartapaloozas, the students are hoping to bring more attention to the space. 

What else you’ll find: There will be several inflatables for both little and big kids to try out; a kids corner with activities for the younger set; henna tattoos; a photo booth; entertainment provided by various YCP organizations; yard games like corn hole, KanJam and giant Twister; and more. They’ll also be raffles and plenty of free food.

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