The 57-year-old tradition of Dogwoods is getting a makeover in order to better cater to the needs and wants of students. Dogwoods 2.0 will be taking place on Friday, April 1 starting at 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
This year, rather than hosting the traditional Dogwoods dance, Fairfield University’s Student Association has made the decision to change the way the event is usually organized. In the past, Dogwoods has usually entailed a themed dance where students are invited to dance and eat for the night. However, in the past couple of years, the popularity of the event has declined and FUSA found that it needed to change the way in which the event runs.
“During our initial meetings, we went back to the drawing board and tried to look at what students wanted,” said Dogwoods board member, Anthony Pope ‘18. “[Presidential Ball] already filled the need for a school formal and the annual Fall concert fulfilled the need for a concert, so we wanted to bring something new to the table.”
Since Dogwoods is a long-standing University tradition, FUSA has kept the name the same, but has hired a company called Grooveboston to disc jockey.
“Dogwoods has been around since Fairfield was founded, so we felt it was important to keep the name, but modernize the event,” said Pope. “The new name, Dogwoods 2.0, brings a modern/techy feel while still keeping the Fairfield roots.”
Groove Boston caters to universities across the country, including the University of Connecticut and Rhode Island College, stating that their goal is to “create legendary dance parties by combining massive-scale production with professional in-house talent, led by a world-class touring crew of some of the most talented audio, lighting, staging and special effects professionals in the industry.”
As part of Groove Boston’s Ethos Tour, Pope believes that this event will “bring the campus alive with over-the-top lighting, CO2 cannons and so much more that will transform Alumni Hall into something that Alumni Hall has never seen before.”
The event will be DJ’d by several different artists, including Fairfield’s own Greg Tchertchian ‘18, or known as Greg T.
Since the Presidential Ball and the Dogwoods Dance will be different from one another and the event will become more modern with a student DJ, FUSA hopes that attendance will rise significantly.
“We want to create a lot of buzz and excitement prior to April 1, and then exceed students’ expectations the night of the event,” said Chair of Programming and Vice President elect Brianna Tancredi.
Junior Claire Zaneski attended the Kentucky Derby themed Dogwoods dance last year, but is looking forward to the change.
“It was put together really well and it was really nice, but I definitely think it attracted more underclassmen than upperclassmen,” said Zaneski. “I’m looking forward to this because my friend had GrooveBoston at her school and said it was so much fun.”
However, some students are upset about this change and had hoped that there would be a spring concert.
“I’m open to this, but I don’t think that I am excited for it. I would have preferred an actual spring concert,” said Anthony Szeymonik ‘18. “I think they did the best that they could, but it just sucks because you have other schools that have great performances.”
FUSA will not be having a spring concert, but instead are updating Dogwoods and will be having Boston Marathon survivor Jeffrey Bauman speak.
“With our resources and available funds, we could not host a spring concert this semester but still wanted to give the students as much as we could,” said Tancredi. “…Dogwoods 2.0 isn’t an attempt to give students a concert, but an event that appeals more to them and brings the student body together.”
Over the next couple of weeks, students will be seeing different promotional events for the dance that will be produced by FUSA. Tickets can be purchased online.