Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya Around 900 Hoya sports fans enjoyed food and music at HoyaPalooza on Friday. The event combined the best elements of barbeque, pep rally and Hoya Blue Fundraiser.

HoyaPalooza, an event designed to raise school and community spirit in an atmosphere of responsible drinking drew 900 students, faculty and alumni to the Leavey Esplanade on Friday evening, raising $6,500.

“It was a great success,” GUSA President Brian orgenstern (COL ’05) said. “So many people came. I think this proves that we can have these types of events on campus.”

HoyaPalooza included an all-you-can-eat barbeque, live music from student bands and the GU pep band, and a beer garden for students 21 and older. Coaches of fall sports teams spoke about the upcoming season between the music acts. Jack the Bulldog was also spotted wandering among the crowd.

“HoyaPalooza is part pep rally, part barbeque, part concert, part tailgate,” Hoya Blue Vice-Chairman Tim McCann (SFS ’04) said. “The idea is to get the whole campus fired up and really boost excitement.”

DPS ensured that only students 21 and over were served alcohol and there were no alcohol-related security concerns during the event.

“This event is proof positive that students and administrators can work together to ensure the safe and responsible inclusion of alcohol in student programming,” John Antonelli (MSB ’04), Hoya Blue chair, said.

According to Antonelli, the idea for HoyaPalooza originated as a way of giving the student body an additional opportunity to channel enthusiasm for the school.

“Everybody has school spirit,” Antonelli said. “It just needs to be funneled. It needs an arena.”

Morgenstern said that HoyaPalooza was originally planned as a sports promotion but eventually developed into a more diverse event. The sponsors involved in HoyaPalooza’s organization became involved for different reasons. For example the FRIENDS Initiative focused on promoting a safer environment for student alcohol consumption on campus while Hoya Blue focused on raising school spirit for the upcoming sports season.

Except for complaints regarding long food lines, students offered mostly positive feedback about the event.

“Long lines but good music,” Arielle Holland (COL’07) said.

“It’s a good idea to have this,” Jeffrey Ng (SFS ’04) said. “I’d definitely want to come back if I wasn’t graduating. It was a great way of getting everyone together.”

According to Antonelli, the money raised from HoyaPalooza will help fund larger, sports promotion-related events. These future events may include free student barbeques before football and soccer games as well as road trips during basketball season.

Admissions to the event was $3 and beers sold for $2 each.

Antonelli admitted that HoyaPalooza may have reminded some of Charity Block Party, a neighborhood party with alcohol and music whose entry funds went to charity. Organizers discontinued the semi-annual event in 2000 amid neighborhood opposition because of drinking and behavior concerns. But event organizers said HoyaPalooza was a more focused event.

“Block Party was little more than a major party held for the sake of having a major party. HoyaPalooza has legitimate goals beyond just providing students a good time,” Antonelli said. “While providing a good time is clearly a priority, we have placed a serious emphasis on sports promotion and community building.”

The organizers of HoyaPalooza said they would like to see the event become a standing tradition at the school.

The event was co-sponsored by the Corp, Hoya Blue, GUSA, the FRIENDS Initiative and the Athletic Department.

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