Kegs to community

Ok-Sober-Fest carries on Malone traditions

Student Senate hosted its first ever Ok-Sober-Fest Oct. 14 at East campus. At the event, students were engaged with a number of free activities including a root beer keg, caramel apples, a bonfire, dancing and corn hole.

Chris Johnson, freshman class president, was looking to create an event that provided some on-campus fun.

“Why are there not parties on Malone’s Campus? Just because it’s a Christian school, students should still be able to have fun,” said Johnson. “[Ok-Sober-Fest is] a night of fun and a night that students can just ease themselves from work. It’s a weekend, and students can just feel like a college student.”

Although this is the first big campus event for many students this year, it is only the first of many, according to Johnson.

Student Senate hosted Ok-Sober-Fest in an effort to meet their overall goals of communication, collaboration and bringing students together for the 2016–2017 school year.

“We wanted to hold a Student Senate sponsored event,” said Andrea Humes, student body president.

Oksoberfest 2016 is celebrated by students using a root beer keg. (Photo courtesy of Kelsey Garrett).
Oksoberfest 2016 is celebrated by students using a root beer keg. (Photo courtesy of Kelsey Garrett).

Humes said the idea for Ok-Sober-Fest came from an old Malone tradition that started in Haviland Hall.

“There used to be this tradition of a root beer keg party,” said Humes. “[Students] set up a keg in their shower and people from all over campus would go through their room; go in one room, get root beer and go out the other.”

Ok-Sober-Fest is not only rooted in Malone University student tradition, but in Quaker tradition as well. Quakers used root beer for evangelism.

“Quaker evangelists used to go to shipyards and take root beer,” said Humes.

The merchants at the shipyard liked to drink and Quakers would give them root beer in order to help the merchants reach sobriety. Chris Abrams, vice president of student development, shared this story at Ok-Sober-Fest before opening the root beer keg.

Student Senate hopes that Ok-Sober-Fest will inspire students to create their own traditions and events to promote a better on-campus community and offer some fun without having to leave campus.

“Campus can be fun on Friday nights too. It’s not just a place where you go to study and then go home on the weekends. The events that happen on campus don’t have to be planned by Student Senate or SAC,” said Humes. “They can be planned by a suite or a dorm room. They can be planned by two people. Invite people over. Get people together. If you use some creativity and bring people together in your own way, that creates community on campus just as much as these big events do.”

Ashton Crooks, senior psychology major, was one attendee at Ok-Sober-Fest.

“This event shows us that we can build a great community and have a fun and relaxed time,” said Crooks. “My favorite parts are the bonfire and the root beer. I like the relaxed atmosphere.”

She first heard about the event through email, but was encouraged to come to the event by her friends who were also attending. Crooks is interested in attending more events like Ok-Sober-Fest.

“I feel like this would bond us more as a community,” said Crooks. Student Senate plans to host an event similar to Ok-Sober-Fest during the spring semester.

Emily Andrews is a guest writer for The Aviso

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