Can Students Expect a 2023 Spring Fest?


Spring Fest Carnival 2022. Photo/Pace University Photography Library.

Leanna Ward, Editor in Chief

Pace students gather every spring for a weekend-long event called Spring Fest, which features carnival rides, free food, and sometimes concerts from big names.

Normally at this time, students have voted for an artist to perform on campus and are anticipating hearing who was chosen, but this year there has been complete radio silence, with many questioning if there will be a festival at all.

There have been rumors of budget cuts to the festival, as well as many speculating that the festival will not happen at all. What is the truth?

In short, the answer is there will indeed be a Spring Fest this year, but it will look different than last year’s.

Over the past few years, Pace has seen a great variety of events and quality during the festivities, due to a multitude of reasons such as budget, planning, and Covid.

In 2017 and 2018, it was the spring carnival, which featured nights of carnival experiences such as rides, food, and live bands; all in a parking lot on the Pleasantville Campus. In 2018, the artist A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie performed in the gym as well. Pace Programming Board hosted these events in conjunction with the Student Government Association, (SGA). 

2020 and 2021 did not see Spring Festivals thanks to Covid, but it was planned in 2019 that rapper Pop Smoke would perform until his untimely passing in February of 2020. 

2022’s Spring Festival was a grand return to the annual festival. This spring festival was a memorable one, with Lil Yachty coming to Pleasantville and performing in the Goldstein Fitness Center’s gymnasium, as well as a night of carnival rides and free food the night before.

Pace Programming Board has returned to the seat of organizing the festival this year. With SGA organizing festivities last year, the last time the organization managed the festival was in 2018. The Board is moving ahead with exciting plans for the festival, despite many students still under the impression that the festival is not happening at all this year.

Programming Board, (PB), is a part of SGA. The Director of Student Government Programming within SGA is Sasha Palmer, she is also the Director of the Programming Board.

When asked about plans for the 2023 Spring Fest, Sasha Palmer shared that PB is planning a weekend of events including a carnival, with a variety of student organizations and clubs in collaboration.

In terms of what students can expect at the carnival, Palmer said that the carnival will be about the same size as last year’s but there will be a theme this year, for which students are encouraged to dress up.

The weekend’s theme will be announced by the board on their Instagram, (@paceprogramming) via a reveal video featuring the collaborating student organizations; released at a date TBA.

The Spring Fest weekend will start on Friday, April 28th, with an open mic event put on in collaboration with Chroma, Pace Pleasantville’s student-run Arts and Literary Journal. On the evening of Saturday, April 29th, the carnival that Spring Fest has come to be known for will take place. According to Palmer, there will be a DJ. food trucks, and of course plenty of rides. For Sunday, April 30th, there are plans for a bonfire in collaboration with Greek Life, as well as other potential events.

Harkirandeep Kaur, the Programming Board Secretary shared that there will be five food trucks at the carnival, with drinks provided by Coca-Cola. The food trucks have not been finalized but the E-Board shared that they are looking at a fry truck, a pretzel truck, a frozen yogurt truck, and other carnival food-style trucks. 

Anthony Moretto, the PB Treasurer shared information about rides and features of the carnival he had just obtained. He said, “I got quotes for two different things. One of them is a ride, I won’t go any farther than that except that it is shaped like an animal. The second thing I asked for a quote for is a themed photo booth, with a similar theme to the first animal.”

Moretto continued, explaining what the budget for the festival looks like, “We set aside money for Spring Fest so we have a separate budget just for Spring Fest. We’ve been making cuts and sacrifices to our own events so we can make things happen for the greater student body for Spring Fest so we can really make it a good event.” 

Unfortunately, it has become clear that due to a smaller budget, there will not be a concert at Spring Fest this year according to Palmer, the Director of PB, “We aren’t going to have any performers, no one big is coming,” She said.

SGA discussed the idea of doing a student stage to replace the concert, but the Open Mic on Friday became clear as the better platform for student performances.

The budget issue with Spring Fest is the same as the budget issue SGA has been facing for all of their events. This is due to a limited pool of money provided by the Student Activity Fee. This fee funds all student-organized events, including big events like Spring Fest. Currently, the fee per student is $101, but due to inflation over the years, this amount is no longer enough and SGA has proposed to raise it. 

“Our Student Activity Fee has not been raised since 2009, so we [SGA] are trying to raise that even if it is only by $15. […] That money will then be allocated to students and to clubs, organizations, and us.”

Palmer said that if students want bigger events, SGA will need more money from the Student Activity Fee in order to afford performers, as they have gotten more and more expensive as the years go by. To make this happen, SGA has put out a survey to students to gather their opinions on the increase. Only through a high positive response rate to the form can SGA make changes as they cannot make changes without student input. 

QR Code to SGA’s Student Activity Fee Survey.

The size and impressiveness of last year’s Spring Fest was due to the budget being abnormally high, thanks to the 2020 and 2021 budgets being combined for 2022.

In order to have another Spring Fest like last year’s, students must participate in SGA’s survey so that Student Government may increase the fee. Only through this may they again be able to afford events of that scale again.

Looking forward to this year’s smaller but still exciting festival, PB Treasurer Anthony Moretto teased the themed carnival, “You’re not gonna wanna miss it, and you’re gonna wanna see how this thing looks. It’s gonna be a spectacle.” 

If students want to help plan this year’s festival, PB Director Sasha Palmer encouraged students to attend the Board’s monthly Spring Fest Committee Meetings, the next being on the 21st of March at 9 PM in Butcher Suite, Kessel. If they cannot make that, they can join the general body meeting on the 28th of March at the same time and place.