Kent State hosts VIP party for returning freshmen



Caitlin English and Drew Chess, both senior hospitality management majors, move an ice sculpture during the VIP event Thursday at Eastway Center. Photo by Brian Smith

Dianna Warwick

Completing your first semester of college is always a big deal. Dining Services at Kent State understands that, which is why they put on a special party for the returning freshmen Thursday at the Eastway complex.

“Getting past the first semester is probably the toughest and hardest for anyone’s college career,” said Richard Roldan, director of Dining Services. “So that’s why we decided it was a good opportunity for us to celebrate and have a big party for our returning freshmen.”

This year, Kent has more than 4,000 students returning for their second semester. The wall of recognition lists all the names of the returning students, which is placed on the downstairs wall of Eastway.

“It does exactly what it’s supposed to do,” Roldan said. “Recognize everybody and congratulate them.”

This will be the fourth year Dining Services has hosted this event, and each year the prizes and activities get bigger and bigger. This year they were giving away Southwest Airline plane tickets for the winner of beach blanket bingo — a tropical-themed bingo game — and a mountain bike for the student who could catch the most fake money flying around in the money box.

Students gathered around as they watched their friends try to keep their balance on a mechanical surfboard. They also sang together during karaoke and danced along with Dance Dance Revolution.

Tyler Gargano, freshman accounting major, said he was worried about college at first.


8-Ball pool Tournament – Zhang Boseng ($50 gift card to Gamestop)

Wang Yibin ($50 gift card to Gamestop)

Beach Blanket Bingo – Aaron Buell ($300 Southwest Airlines gift card)

Money Box – Alyssa Urbansky (mountain bike)

“It was not what I was expecting at all, but this event definitely makes me feel proud of myself and that I accomplished something,” he said.

Other students felt the same way, including freshman aeronautics major Tugce Yildiz.

“Coming to college would always make me anxious. It was not as scary as I thought though,” Yildiz said.

The event featured other activities including a photo booth, henna tattoos, face painting, a balloon artist and glow-in-the dark bowling.

Contact Dianna Warwick at [email protected].