Although this year’s Bronco Bash did not fall on its traditional date of the first Friday of the semester, thousands of students from Western Michigan University and members of the Kalamazoo community showed up in front of Sangren Hall on Tuesday to network, be entertained, and of course, get free stuff.
Students and guests were welcomed by more than 450 booths that consisted of registered student organizations (RSOs), local businesses, community organizations and University departments.
Additionally, two musical guests, Yolanda Lavender and the Last Gasp Collective, performed at the festival.
“We got a beautiful day for it,” James Rubio, a WMU sophomore, said. “It’s a great opportunity to meet and see all the things going on here.”
Those working the booths also expressed their appreciation for Tuesday’s event.
“I enjoy Bronco Bash for two reasons,” Western Student Association (WSA) President Joe Sanchez said. “One is because it is the event of the year that brings the community together. Two is because it displays the opportunities Broncos have to find their passions and get connected during their time at WMU.”
Working the WSA booth, Sanchez said the RSO spoke to approximately 400 to 500 interested students.
“It (Bronco Bash) is important because it is a piece of recruitment for RSOs, Greek Life and other organizations,” Sanchez said. “It also displays the services and resources students will have on campus during their time at WMU.”
Bronco Bash has been an annual event for more than 30 years and has typically been held on the first Friday of the fall semester. Due to a change in the academic calendar, the Office of Student Engagement moved the date to Tuesday, Aug. 28; the day before classes began.
Chris Sligh, director of the office of student engagement, said it was a great turn out.
“In terms of marketing and things like that we were hopeful in that there wasn’t any classes today so we knew students would have time,” Sligh said.
Sligh said this event was a great way to start off the school year.
“It’s really cool to catch up with students, see what they were doing over the summer and it’s a great way for students to get involved,” Sligh said.