Relaunch!, held at the beginning of the spring academic semester, hosts clubs and organizations that can promote their group to the student body.
The event, put together by the Student Government Association (SGA), brought in approximately 640 students this year according to SGA president, senior Natalie Barton. Blastoff, held at the beginning of the academic year brought in approximately 1,429 students. Although Relaunch! normally brings in less students than Blastoff each year, clubs and organizations gain more members through Relaunch!, according to junior Arjeet Tipirneni, Executive Vice President of SGA.
Tipirneni estimates that about $500 was spent on Relaunch!: $300 was spent on water and catering and $200 for balloons. There are a few additional costs such as student technology workers helping with sound and student photographers. Blastoff included all of this plus a larger amount of clubs, organizations, students, a DJ, as well as outside vendors.
Senior CJ Isom, SGA Chief of Staff, said he believes that Relaunch! is worth the money and resources.
“If we just took it [Relaunch!] out, and we just had Blastoff, we’d miss I want to say half the student body,” Isom said. “There is no way that you’re going to get through every organization that we have on this campus during Blastoff.”
Vice President of Student Activities Amy Wallace also agrees that Relaunch! is worthwhile.
“Maybe students have not really found their niche and what they thought they would be interested in, or they changed their major after first semester, or they’re just looking to get involved in something new,” Barton said.
According to Barton, it’s not only great for current students to get re-connected, but for transfer students have the same opportunity to view all the school’s organizations as well. Relaunch! was first implemented last year, and drew in over 500 students, and the number increased this year.
Barton estimates between 70-75 clubs and organizations came to Relaunch, including athletic teams, the Career Center and the Roux Library. Barton was happy with the attendance at Relaunch! and said she would consider anything over 500 a success.
Wallace said that the advertising for Relaunch! and Blastoff are a little different due to time of year and who they are being geared towards.
“It’s very hard to advertise an event over [summer and winter] breaks,” Wallace said. “I think Blastoff is advertised more to freshmen by their orientation leaders. That [Blastoff] is a big push for mostly freshmen to attend.”
Blastoff takes place in August as freshmen and transfer students are coming in, while Relaunch! is set up as “come see what’s new”. Wallace said that six organizations were added on campus and made their debut at Relaunch! this year.
The Student Government members all mentioned that Relaunch! is meant to be a smaller scale event than Blastoff.
“We intended for it to be a small event, and so organizations tend to like it because they do get more members even though it’s in the spring,” Tipirneni said.
The Executive VP also said that differed recruitment for Greek organizations in the upcoming academic year might change the dynamic of the campus. With recruitment happening in the spring, Relaunch! might turn into a “Blastoff size event”.
Tipirneni planned the event and enjoyed getting in touch with the organizations. He got to go through all the registrations on Engage and see what all their activities were and what they planned on doing. The Student Government Association plans on hosting Relaunch! in the years to come.