An estimated 700 students turned out Friday night for a fun-filled, raucous Tech Fest 2012 event, Stevens’ annual themed student-run festival held every fall.
Interestingly, most didn’t know what they would be attending.
In the weeks preceding Tech Fest 2012, a team of representatives from the Student Government Association, Entertainment Committee, Gear & Triangle and other student organizations released a series of cryptic clues to build anticipation for the mystery event. “Return to Glory” was the code name used in the unique and creative promotions, which created confusion, intrigue and excitement across the Stevens community.
“We wanted to bring back Tech Fest in all of its glory; to bring back some of its allure,” said Teddy Poppe ’13. “Alumni remember it as one of the biggest student events all year, but in recent years numbers have been dwindling.”
Clues were hidden on specially-launched social media accounts, neon-colored t-shirts and other apparel, hand-made posters, and much more. Student leaders – without knowing why – were asked to sport sweatshirts with a neon Duck logo and a QR code, which took people to a website which counted down to “Return to Glory.” Fliers with the same QR code were placed on every single desk in every single classroom for students to try to decipher.
“In order to build hype, the event was never actually spelled out,” said Assistant Director of Student Life Holly Nelson.
The promotions resulted in a range of rumors – via word of mouth and on Twitter – about what, exactly, “Return to Glory” meant.
“Some people thought Stevens was getting a football team. Others thought there was going to be a floating dormitory,” Poppe said.
Wondering what all the fuss was about, hundreds of students flocked to the newly-repaved programming space in the Hayden-Jacobus parking lot on Friday evening. There, they were treated to an epic music and dance party featuring three deejays, full stage lighting, glow-sticks, t-shirt giveaways, and an appearance by Stevens mascot Attila the Duck.
“The event featured two Stevens students and one student who left Stevens to become a professional DJ. It showcased the university’s range of talent and proved that Stevens has a lot to offer,” Poppe said.
Tech Fest 2012 student coordinators included Poppe, Megan Webb, Michael Hwang, Armand Reyes, Bobby Trumpner, Edward Watt, Eric Noll and Tim Weeks. Reyes served as the master of ceremonies, while Katie Connell, James Coyle and DJ Pericles worked the stage.
Poppe said Tech Fest 2012 not only succeeded in giving Stevens students a memorable night out, but it raised school spirit and pride and garnered support for Stevens academics, extracurricular activities and athletics.
“There were probably 700 people there and they all loved it,” he said. “I hope Tech Fest just continues to get bigger and bigger.”
“The students this year set a high standard for Tech Fest, and next year’s event will be up to the students who take the reins next,” Nelson added.