UNO’s Back To School Block Party

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UNO’s Back To School Block Party

Back To School Block Party a bustling event. 
Photo provided by Claire Sargent.

Back To School Block Party a bustling event. Photo provided by Claire Sargent.

Back To School Block Party a bustling event. Photo provided by Claire Sargent.

Back To School Block Party a bustling event. Photo provided by Claire Sargent.

On Thursday, August 23rd, the University of New Orleans held their annual Back To School Block Party by The Cove. The theme for the party this year was neon, and the Student Activities Council provided glow necklaces and bracelets and other neon accessories. The event also included snacks, snoballs, and a DJ. New and returning students enjoyed this University tradition, spending their time dancing the night away in the streets.

The annual block party is one of the first main events freshman attend on campus, which can leave a lasting impression about campus life onto new students. Hailey Therard, a first semester freshman at the University, said she was having a lot of fun at the block party, and remarked, “I’m really excited for what my first semester in college will have in store and where I’ll be later on in my college career here at UNO!” Based on the experience she had at the block party, Therard suggested she felt more inclined to get involved on campus and go to more campus events.

Major events on campus, such as the block party, tend to help student retention at the University of New Orleans. The student retention rate is 77.9 percent as of 2016, and the retention rate is currently on the rise. Taylor Garcia, a sophomore, said in regards to the block party, “I’m really liking the new events and the new image on campus that UNO is promoting. It makes me more proud to be a Privateer.” When asked if these new events on campus make her want to continue her education at UNO, Garcia said, “Yes. I definitely see myself staying here throughout my whole college career. These type of fun and exciting campus events, along with the academics here at UNO, make me want to stay here and earn my degree here.”

The block party also makes a big impression on seniors, as it may be one of the last main events they attend on campus. Cursti Joseph, a senior at UNO, really enjoyed the change from the luau theme to the neon theme. She said that the block party had always been a luau since she began attending the University of New Orleans, but this year was a welcome change.

“It is nice to see a positive change at a major campus event this semester. The neon theme has a very modern and trendy feel to it. The new students seem to be enjoying this new feel on campus as well.”

Joseph also said she felt like she will attend more campus events after attending the block party, since she is graduating and wants to make lasting memories of her last year. She wishes to see the University continue this momentum in the future so that new students will feel strongly about the University of New Orleans in the same way she has. Joseph ended by wishing new students continue their education throughout their whole academic career at the University of New Orleans as she did, because she has learned a lot and grown as a person at this university.

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