Rain fails to dampen K Week spirit

Hundreds of new and returning students gathered to kick-off K-Week at the Christian Student Fellowship Luau Party on August 19, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Josh Mott | Staff

Emily Cole

UK campus was bustling with new students, free events, and freshman activities this weekend, despite unexpected rainfall and continuing campus construction.

UK’s K Week events are centered around acclimating freshmen to life on campus and welcoming back returning students with themed events, vendors, and seminars.

K week offers students a chance to get acquainted with some of the 511 student organizations that exist on campus and to get a taste of local businesses, organizations, and partnering institutions. 

Friday morning thousands of students moved in to their new residence halls, and freshmen were welcomed at the university’s annual K Week kick off, where freshmen meet their K week leaders and K groups, who will help them navigate through their first week on campus.

Makayla Beecham, a sophomore and K Crew leader, says that having a group of people to rely on when first coming to college had a positive impact on her freshman year experience. 

“I wanted to be a K Crew leader because when I first got here it was really hard to get plugged in and have people around me that I knew. So as a K Crew leader I can be that for about 15 freshman on campus,” said Beecham.

As a group leader, Beecham is responsible for checking in with her freshman every day until classes start.

“Kick off is my favorite event of K week because it’s really awkward at first, but people get comfortable with each other and then they stop worrying about how they come off and what they look like. We just have fun.”

Another highlight of the first night of K Week was the Christian Student Fellowship’s annual back to school luau, complete with free food, a DJ, and dancing on the lawn.

CSF also serves midnight pancakes every night of this week and offers students a chance to learn about how to get more involved with the organization. While the luau is CSF’s biggest chance to bring freshmen in, they also hold a water balloon fight each year.  

“My favorite thing we do is the water balloon fight because we’re blowing up one million balloons,” said Katie Bernardo, who is doubling this week as a K Crew leader and volunteer for CSF. Whether it be with CSF or her K Crew, Bernardo’s favorite thing about K Week is the chance to connect with people. 

Campus Ruckus, the weekend’s biggest event, was cut short due to thunderstorm warnings and rain. Campus Ruckus, held at commonwealth stadium, gives students a chance to talk with campus organizations and get free food and other samples from local establishments. The event lasted less than an hour before being shut down.

In the chaos of this weekend’s events, sorority recruitment ended Sunday with bid day, when hopeful pledges finally found out what house on greek row would be their new home. The ceremony took place at Memorial Coliseum, and Rose Street turned in to a flood of white dresses as eager pledges raced to their new sorority houses. 

Before the final reveal took place, sophomore pledge Nicole Palleson was both excited and nervous to find out her fate. 

“This week has been amazing because it’s cool to see how different we all are, but how we have all kind of united for the same passions this week. Obviously everyone is hoping for a specific home today and to meet their sisters but fingers crossed that I find the right house.” 

Despite the excitement that comes with recruitment week, Palleson says that there is a factor of stress involved in finding your perfect match. 

“It definitely is rough, but I would know that I found a good house if I left the event smiling and felt good about my experience,” Palleson said. “My mom could tell by the tone in my voice if I liked a sorority when I was telling her about it over the phone.”

Sophomore pledge Gaby Cobb is also doubling this week as a K Crew leader, but believes the two go hand in hand. 

“It’s been a little different rushing because being a sophomore its a lot less stressful,” she said. “You know people in the sororities and you know where everything on campus is.”