First Welcome Back Bash a hit


Courtesy of UWO Flickr / The Welcome Back Bash held lots of fun events for students to enjoy before the basketball game.

Mattie Beck, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team hosted a Welcome Back Bash to help students celebrate the first week of the second semester on Feb. 1.

The event included dining in Kolf Sports Center, Reeve Union Board (RUB) activities and concluded with the men’s basketball game against UW-Eau Claire.

The idea for the welcome back event came from Matt Lewis, coach of the men’s basketball team, who reached out to multiple people on campus to partake, including Dylan Bram, the adviser for RUB.

“Matt Lewis … wanted to replicate an atmosphere similar to other schools around the country,” Bram said. 

The two were able to meet and plan the event, while also bringing in other organizations from campus, including Dining Services and Residence Life, to create more student activities.

“From there we had a couple meetings discussing how we expected the flow of the event to go, and then tried it out,” Bram said.

Lewis said he came up with the idea when he ran  into a colleague in an unexpected place. 

“Missy Burgess and I bumped into each other at the Atlanta airport. We started talking about a student-centered event for the second semester,” Lewis said. 

Burgess is the UWO associate director for student involvement.

“I have seen a few other universities try similar concepts and Missy wanted to give it a shot,” Lewis said.

Planning for the new event started over the summer.

“Dining Services, Aladdin, Reeve Union Board, Residence Life and the Athletics Department met several times, starting in the late summer,” he said. “We brainstormed ideas for the event and on how to market it.”

The organizations came together and planned out the event with different activities for students to do before the main event: the men’s basketball game. 

“Dinner was available to students prior to the game in lower Kolf. Also before the game, there was an inflatable obstacle course, a bungee run, caricature artist, snow cones and cotton candy,” Lewis said. 

All of the events were free to students with their TitanCard.

But activities  didn’t end once the game started. “At halftime, all students were able to compete in rock-paper-scissors for a TV! Residence Life is giving the winning dorm an additional prize,” Lewis said. 

Lewis said he is hopeful the event will be held again based on the attitudes of those who attended. 

“Yes, I believe this will become an annual event,” he said. “We had about 600 students attend. It seemed like students really enjoyed the event.”