After much uncertainty surrounding the event, Woofest has been permanently ended.
Following the circling of many rumors and ideas shaping it—including that of “Twofest,” which would have included both Huntington and Laguna buildings participating—the decision has been made to simply end the event altogether, according to Huntington RD Victor Akioyame.
Last year was Akioyame’s first Woofest, an event originally aiming to honor the women of campus, as he was new to the Residence Life staff. After reflection, he felt they had shifted away from that goal.
“Thinking about doing it again this year, it just doesn’t feel like we’re in the times or [that] the event itself is cohesive to honoring women,” Akioyame said.
According to Akioyame, the idea of changing Woofest has been a conversation for quite some time. The conversations began after last year’s event, and the idea of changing it to “Twofest” was suggested.
“[Twofest] slipped out and people heard about it—we thought about doing that; we just didn’t think with the time we had that we could put it together,” he said.
These conversations and added difficulties led to Akioyame and the Residence Life staff to end Woofest altogether.
For Akioyame, he believes the men of Huntington Hall should be using their gifts and abilities to put on an enjoyable event, but the motivation of “wooing” and showing off to the school ultimately made the RD contemplate what he really wanted his time at Vanguard to reflect.
“It feels like a good time to move away from Woofest…For me, it feels like a good time to think about what I want my legacy to be. Like, do I want [Woofest] to be something I promoted? Some of the stuff that Woofest has promoted over the years, I want to help us to move away from that.” said Akioyame.
The ending of Woofest has brought mixed reactions. The popular Vanguard event, which started in 2001, has garnered much controversy in recent years. Many students feeling it represented the opposite of honoring women, which it claimed to. Others found it to be a great way to bond with floormates and to have fun.
“I’m relieved,” second floor Huntington RA Dylan Knapp said. “The problematic issues in mind, Woofest is a lot of work for something that really is an outdated tradition,” Knapp said.
Others are less happy with the change, including junior Sal Santillan, who described it as an essential bonding activity for the residents of Huntington.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Santillan, who has participated in Woofest the previous two years. “It meant so much to the guys of Huntington, and I think it really impacted the women of Laguna,” Santillan said.
However, this will not end the positive aspects of Woofest, because Akioyame is planning another event that aims to be bigger and better. Akioyame and his staff are still in the process of deciding what the event will be, and are looking at having it in late January or early February.
“We want to take the time and really build it out the best we can instead of trying to cram something out at the end of this semester, especially with Mr. and Ms. VU coming out at the end of November and Christmas Fantasia the first couple weeks of December,” said Akioyame.
While many are sad to see it go, others are looking forward to what the future holds.
“It’s always a bummer to see a great event go, but sometimes it’s necessary in order to make room for better things,” said Huntington sixth floor RA Jason Venezia.
And while Akioyame doesn’t want to speak in absolutes, Woofest will likely not be returning again.
“In the foreseeable time with the department we have now, I don’t see it coming back,” Akioyame said.