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Rez Fest kicks off USF Week

Students from all of the residence halls will participate in this year's Rez Fest. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

To kick off USF week, the Residence Hall Association (RHA) is bringing residential communities together through food and music.

Rez Fest will offer food and merchandise April 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the Castor Kosove Lawn.

In hopes of achieving the same success as last year, the Food Crawl is being brought back with an expected increase in attendance and a greater variety in food options.

According to RHA President Evan Collins, the event is expected to draw 400 to 500 students.

As for entertainment, RHA is letting the displays of food speak for itself.

“The food is the primary activity,” Collins said. “Each hall (council) group presenting dishes will have different themes. Bulls Radio will be in attendance, though, definitely giving everyone the cupid shuffle.”

RHA merchandise, such as shirts, will be handed out to participants.

The 16 residential communities will be paired up into groups of either two or three to work together to make the food, table decorations and mocktails –– a non-alcoholic take on cocktails.

The executive board will provide a catered main entree from Panda Express with various servings such as orange chicken, teriyaki chicken, broccoli beef and sides along with a vegan option of tofu stir fry.

The event offers a range of options from a galaxy-themed, alien-inspired jello shots paired with galaxy fruit punch, and a take on Caribbean cuisine with strawberry daiquiris.

The Director of Programming Manuel Mercado made sure each group had a food and drink pairing that matched their distinctive theme.

“Instead of purely a dessert and drink, we gave our hall councils a multitude of options for how to customize their own ‘food crawl’ station,” Mercado said. “This year, we gave the option of one dessert or appetizer, one drink and one theme.

“With this combined, we hoped that there will be more variety in participants choosing and bringing more people over to check out what's happening.”

Collins said it took over three months to plan Rez Fest, between establishing logistics with the executive board, coordinating with hall councils to organize before and during event, advertise around campus and determine catering options.

The executive board spent $900 on their entree and each hall council contributed their own funds to put together their tables.

RHA’s objective correlates with their motto to promote student success by providing safe spaces.

“The goal is to provide students on campus with an enjoyable event to attend to foster socialization and stress relief with food,” Collins said.