After months of planning, Student Activities announced last week the alternative to the canceled Spring Fling, The Cherry-On Experience, which will feature what administrators said will be a more controlled weekend festival.
The Cherry-On Experience will be held from 4-8 p.m. at Geasey Field Complex and Lot 1 on April 12. Afterward, an outdoor movie will be played on the track.
Student Activities director Chris Carey said the decision to move the event to Geasey Field was made in order to control access to the event through select entrances on Broad and 15th streets.
Spring Fling was canceled last year by President Theobald, who called the event “a bacchanal, a drinking fest” and said it had lost its roots as a promoter of Main Campus activities to commuter students, instead encouraging students to skip class and attend parties.
Last year’s event was marred by the death of 19-year-old West Chester University student Ali Fausnaught, who fell off the roof of an off-campus row house where she had been visiting friends.
When announcing the cancellation of Spring Fling, administrators denied that the decision was the result of the teenager’s death.
Campus police officers will be posted at the entrances to the event to prevent students from entering under the influence of, or in the possession of, alcohol. Police will not be patting down students, Carey said.
“We want this to be a program where students can enjoy themselves,” Carey said. “There’s going to be a process where we are making sure students are coming through to Geasey Field and Lot 1, they’re not bringing alcohol in and people are behaving appropriately and enjoying the actual events and not seeing this as a big open party, as was the case a little bit.”
Student Body President Darin Bartholomew said planning for the Cherry-on Experience went through Main Campus Program Board, not Temple Student Government.
Bartholomew said while while he is happy the new event will be different than Spring Fling, he held concerns, including bringing activities farther into the community.
The event will feature a food festival run by the Philadelphia Food Trust that will include food trucks and booths along 15th Street from local restaurants – which will be shut down during the event – and Lot 1, the area between Pearson and McGonigle halls and the Pavilion. In addition, there will be music, a mural painting, a tough mudder-like event and laser tag.
Veronica Hunter, the associate director of Student Affairs, said Student Activities will review the outcome of the event to determine whether they want it to become an annual event.
Students around campus reacted to the announcement of the new event with mixed thoughts.
“I didn’t really care for Spring Fling to start with,” Vicky Joye, a senior geography and urban studies major, said. “There’s going to be food trucks so that’s kind of cool, but having security, I think no one’s going to go.”
“It’s a bummer for other people, but I’m happy about it that there’s security,” Steph Dorantes, a senior kinesiology major, said.
“What happened last year was obviously a tragedy,” Ezra Lewis, a junior film major, said. “After that whole event, I understand the university trying to change the format, controlling the students seems kind of odd…but I’m glad that they’re bringing something back for the students who enjoy it.”
John Moritz can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @JCMoritzTU.