Harvest Fest cultivates campus community

Aromas of s’mores and hot chocolate filled the air. Leaves crinkled while voices grew louder as more wandered toward the center of campus. A few steps further revealed a classic autumn scene — pumpkin carving, gathering around a campfire and togetherness. 

Harvest Fest was hosted by the Student Activities Board Thursday, Oct. 17. Although the event has occurred annually at Truman State University as an autumnal observance, this year’s bash had more intentional aims.

“We’re just adding more elements to it,”  SAB committee chair Sophia Gao said. “It used to be more of just pumpkin carving, but now we will have games, s’mores, a photo booth.”

While permitting dilemmas can often create problems, plan implementation for the event was generally straightforward, Ashley Atkinson, SAB productions contributor, said. 

“Especially because they did it last year and it went pretty smoothly, it was easier to figure out the things that could have gone wrong and ways to make it better for the next year,” Atkinson said. “It gave us a pretty good idea on how to go about things this year.”

Compared to previous fall campus celebrations, such as Oktoberfest and Fall Fest, Harvest Fest was oriented around a more natural appreciation of the season’s atmosphere, both environmentally and socially. Sentiments of organic camaraderie were voiced strongly by students in attendance.

“Sometimes [other campus events] can be a little intimidating with all of the tabling,” junior Alleigh Emmendorfer said. “This is a lot more chill. You can come with your own group without all the pressures and do your own thing. You can enjoy fall your own way.” 

SAB is working to build better inclusion on campus, Gao said, in this and other events. 

“I think we mostly want students to just enjoy themselves,” Gao concluded. “Everyone is welcome.”