GSBA Photo

The Fall Festival hosted student vendors, including Secondhand Spokane, a thrift business started by two GU students.

Free shave ice, student vendors and a live band were just a few of the countless things at Gonzaga Student Body Association's (GSBA) Fall Festival on Monday.

The event took place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Foley Lawn and was a space for GU students to come together, build community and partake in activities.

Anna Hermes, GSBA's director of campus events, was in charge of organizing the Fall Festival this year.

"I became involved in GSBA last year," Hermes said. "I ran the coffeehouse concerts, and then I was a part of the larger event planning team. This year, I kind of transitioned from that to director of campus events, so I oversee coffeehouse, weekend events, weekday events, and then my role is to plan the Fall Festival and spring concert as the two main events that I handle this year." 

In terms of the event itself, the goal for this year was to make it easier and more accessible for students, according to Hermes.

"We did not fully anticipate about 2,000 people showing up last year ... [so] the waivers that needed to be signed got a little bit hectic," Hermes said. "This year, we were kind of trying to think of a way to still make it super fun but hopefully not as many waivers and making that process easier." 

The event included cornhole, shave ice, an appearance from Sed's Delicious Dogs, student vendors selling thrifted clothes, embroidered hoops, handmade jewelry and a live performance from the local band Snacks at Midnight, which has performed at GU in the past.

Most of the student vendors were selling handmade creations, many of which they picked up as a hobby during the pandemic or a time in their life where they were struggling and wanted to try something new.

Jasmine Nguyen, a sophomore, was selling her own embroidered hoops, patches and shirts that she embroidered patches onto. She also has an Instagram account titled @some_thrifted_threads where she’s been documenting her creations since August of 2021. 

"I picked up this hobby when I got out of surgery because I was bedridden for a while, so it became a very therapeutic process," Nguyen said.

Harper Hinds was selling vinyl records which she hand-painted designs onto. The designs included a depiction of the creation of Adam, flowers, landscapes and more. She said painting a smaller vinyl takes her between two to four hours, while the larger ones can take anywhere from eight to 10 hours to complete. 

"When COVID hit, I got a bunch of vinyl's thrifted, and I didn't just want them to be plain," Hinds said. "I'd always draw a lot when I was younger, and so I kind of just ended up getting into it." 

Secondhand Spokane was able to attend the event and have a pop-up. The business was originally started by two GU students who like to thrift.

"I think my favorite part is seeing someone around campus wearing ... [one of] our items," said Syvanna Arwood, one of the owners of the thrift business. "We're creating this sort of community amongst students. If we didn't go to school here, we wouldn't have the same opportunity to have the same type of business." 

This year, GSBA hopes to put on lots of events for GU students. Hermes said one of her favorite things about GSBA is that most of the events are free, so students can come together to build community and partake in fun activities with their fellow classmates. The president and vice-president of GSBA also are focused on fostering inclusivity for their campaign this year, as one of the main focuses of the organization has been reaching out to cultural clubs and focusing on DEI work.

"We've been running on kind of a platform of belonging and inclusivity [this year] ... and so something that we've been talking about in [the] events team has been this idea of intentional event planning," Hermes said. "It's thinking about attacking an event from every lens, so things like accessibility [and] diversity, equity and inclusion are things that we're considering ... [and] I think that's going to really set the tone for the rest of our events this year.”

Sophia McKinstry is a diversity editor. Follow her on Twitter: @sophvmckinstry.