COURTESY STUDENTS OF GEORGETOWN INC. Kickback's website displays a countdown clock to the July 8 official announcement.
Kickback’s website displays a countdown clock to the July 8 official announcement.

Georgetown Day marks the end of the academic year, but its commencement has long been bereft of a singular tradition. Students of Georgetown Inc. aims to change that with Kickback, a daylong celebration of students’ return to campus.

“We’re looking to plan a day for students in the fall to come back to campus and have something to be excited about,” Patrick Moore (MSB ’15), chief operating officer of The Corp, said.

The organization publicized a new website on June 30, currently adorned with a countdown to a detailed announcement and full website launch. While specifics are sparse in advance of the July 8 reveal, the day will be arts-focused.

“The goal, broadly, is to further arts and music at Georgetown and strengthen our campus’s connection to the outside community,” Corp CEO Sam Rodman (MSB ’15) said.

To that end, the organization, which started planning in April, has targeted partnerships within campus and in the greater Georgetown community.

“One of the things we’re really trying to do is partner with some other student organizations, whether that be WGTB or whether it be Art Aficionados … or even different student groups that aren’t formalized clubs under [the Student Activities Commission]. We’re also partnering with some off-campus community vendors,” Moore said. “We haven’t fully reached out to everyone we’re planning on involving in this event, so those are some next steps for us.”

Rodman, Moore, and Corp Chief Financial Officer Gene Ball (MSB ’16) took office in early March. Expanding The Corp’s on-campus impact and effect on students ranked highly on the leadership team’s agenda.

“We have these great scholarships that impact certain specific organizations or a few individuals at a time and we’re really proud to be able to affect different students in different ways. So one of the questions we wanted to put on the table for our year was ‘How do we affect the campus in a big way?’” Moore said.

The impending fall opening of the salad-and-smoothie storefront Hilltoss, stocking local vendors and the creation of a mobile app serve to increase the company’s profile, but Kickback helps bring their wider goal into fruition.

“We realized that this day, getting everyone together, was a void we saw on campus and a way we could, as The Corp, broaden our on-campus effect,” Rodman said.

The all-day event will take place prior to the start of classes, a timeframe traditionally associated with the freshman-targeted New Student Orientation and Welcome Week.

“Welcome Week does a fantastic job of getting incoming freshmen excited about the upcoming year and college that they have ahead of them. Our goal with Kickback is getting every student that is returning to campus extremely excited,” Rodman said.

Kickback will be ticketed, but the company aims to price low, in contrast to November’s Corp Gala benefit, with the intention of recouping costs while fostering inclusiveness.

“The problem with [Corp Gala] is that the ticket prices are extremely high, and they’re there for a reason; it is a gala event and one that gives back to charity,” Rodman said. “We wanted to find a way to lower that cost-of-entry to students, so a goal is to provide a very low-cost event that pretty much any student can purchase a ticket for without thinking twice, which is an exciting way for us to give back as an organization.”

After conversations with the Georgetown University Police Department, Moore does not currently anticipate ticket limitation, but the development of a new event means that details are yet to be finalized.

“This is our first-time ever planning something like this, so it’s a work-in-progress with us, a work-in-progress with communicating with the university, work-in-progress with dealing with off-campus providers as well,” Moore said.

Next week’s announcement will include the event’s focus, mission and tentative schedule, but the organization will continue to release new details in the weeks leading up the event.

Above all, The Corp intends Kickback to bring students together for a day of community and celebration — an emphasis reflected in the event’s name.

“We did a lot of name generation for the event and this was kind of the one that just stuck. We tried out combining a bunch of Greek and Latin words at first but they all just seemed somewhat forced,” Moore said. “It’s sort of a play on words of ‘welcome back’ and ‘kick-off’ and ‘kick back, relax, and enjoy the show.’”

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