Student Activities Fair ‘Hullabaloo’ returns to campus this fall; struggles with low numbers


Harper Pom, Dance, and Spirit Team performs on the quad for Hullabaloo on Sept. 8, 2021. Photo by Adriana Briscoe.

Harper’s annual student activities fair known as Hullabaloo returned to an in-person event this week, after being on a coronavirus related hiatus last year.  Hullabaloo was split over two days to avoid crowding and took place in the quad on Wednesday, Sept. 8 for clubs and organizations and Thursday, Sept. 9 for resources and services. 

A virtual Hullabaloo will take place on Thursday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for students who are unable or unwilling to attend, according to Manager of Student Involvement Erin Morettes. 

According to Morettes, 33 clubs and organizations attended, and student attendance was roughly 50-60 percent of what it had been in previous years.

Many of the high-touch components that would normally be at Hullabaloo, such as henna application, caricature drawings, inflatables and food trucks, were eliminated due to Covid-19. 

Students and staff represent clubs and organizations at their tables on the quad for Hullabaloo on Sept. 8, 2021. Photo by Adriana Briscoe.

But sophomore Geneva Bell appreciated having an in-person Hullabaloo this year.

“I think that it’s been really nice to see people,” Bell said. “Especially because last year was my freshman year, and I didn’t get to meet anyone because I was online, so now it’s kind of nice to actually see people and interact with everyone and meet new people.”

Student Dylan Hildebrand was also glad to see students there and felt that college events such as Hullabaloo can foster connection. 

“The more events, the merrier,” Hildebrand explained. “The perennial difficulty with community colleges is developing a community. Students are not always on campus at the same time, or they work other jobs, but events like this always seem to get high attendance regardless of student schedules.”

Harper Pom, Dance, and Spirit Team huddles on the quad during Hullabaloo on Sept. 8, 2021. Photo by Adriana Briscoe.

Morettes said that although Hullabaloo looked and felt different this year, the fundamental purpose of the fair remained the same. 

“What hasn’t changed is connecting students to our clubs and organizations [and] our campus services and resources and ensuring a Harper spirit within our students,” Morettes said.