Every year, as a part of the welcome wagon USF rolls out for incoming freshmen, the university puts on First Fifty Days of Summer, a series of events that was created to help incoming students socialize and get used to college before it gets too hectic.
Glow in the Park, one of the many events, happens to be one of the more popular events offered, according to the Communication and Marketing Officer for Campus Recreation Crystal Bissada.
What makes Glow in the Park popular is that it is an event centered around glow-in-the-dark fun, such as glow-in-the-dark body painting and clothes decoration, glow games and glow sticks.
There are also snacks, kayaking and music provided by a DJ from Bulls Radio. It is held at USF Riverfront Park and Bull Runners are provided for transportation.
“It started as an event to get students to come to the park and learn about it and the different activities that we offer,” said Bissada. “When Student Government jumped on board, it just exploded and became this really awesome event that students looked forward to every year.”
The most popular activity provided is kayaking on the Hillsborough River. Bissada said there is usually a line at the boathouse all night, and this is probably because the activity, which usually costs money, is free for Glow in the Park.
“It was always meant to bring students to the park just so that they’re aware of it,” said Bissada. “They know they have free Wi-Fi, it’s a great place to hang out and study, there’s the ropes course (and) there’s free boating.”
Bissada said that about 750 students attended Glow in the Park in 2014 and about 500 students went in 2015.
She also said the attendance probably went down because most people that attend are on-campus students and it was held on a Saturday in 2015. That is why it is being held on a Friday this year.
“I have heard about it, because I always check Campus Recreation for events, but I’ve never been to it,” said Kellie Parenda, a junior majoring in finance.
This year, Glow in the Park will be held July 8 at 7 p.m. It is a collaborative event put on by Campus Recreation, Housing and Residential Education, Student Government and INTO USF. The event is free for USF students. Guests are allowed to attend, but their USF student host is responsible for the guest.