Fall was in the air last week on Homewood Campus as students participated in the annual Hoptoberfest tradition, organized by The HOP. The student-run event, which began Wednesday, Oct. 5, and culminated in a concert by rapper Desiigner on Saturday night, Oct. 8, featured seasonal activities like a pumpkin patch and an off-campus haunted house trip.
The festivities kicked off in the Recreation Center with food trucks, crafts and a variety of inflatable games. Though weather pushed the event indoors, The HOP adapted all of its planned activities inside, except for the petting zoo.
Senior and Retention and Recruitment Chair for The HOP Anthony Megalla discussed the change of plans in an interview with The News-Letter.
“It's a shame that we didn't get all our things because of the rain,” he said. “But we're making the best of what we got, and it's turning out pretty well. I'm not too disappointed.”
Kick-off activities included inflatable axe throwing and mini golf, candle making, giant (beerless) pong and cornhole.
Sophomores Gerardo Fontes, Bryan Figueroa and Roberto Martinez were similarly unbothered by the indoor kickoff.
Fontes was drawn to attend the event by the free food and shirts, as well as the opportunity to socialize between classes. He expressed his appreciation for the event in an interview with The News-Letter.
“It's nice to see the Hopkins community and do something, not just sit in Brody or MSE studying,” he said.
In an interview with The News-Letter, Martinez described how occasions like Hoptoberfest are an opportunity for self care.
“It's hard to make time for yourself sometimes, so it's worth the effort to go to these events,” he said.
The Oct. 6 activities took place on the Freshman Quad, which included a pumpkin patch, student group performances, free burgers and giveaways. Freshmen Grace Lin and Raquel Conceicao described waiting a long time to get pumpkins in an interview with The News-Letter. Lin and Conceicao also conveyed their confusion over when student organizers would distribute shirts, which Lin noted was a primary reason she attended the event.
“I'm just waiting for the shirts,“ she said. “I don't know when they're going to be given out, but I'm hoping for that.”
Snigdha Panda, senior and chair of The HOP’s traditions committee, discussed the issues that caused some of the confusion and frustration during the event in an interview with The News-Letter.
“There was a hiccup in our set-up, which required adaptability from both us and the community, which didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped,” she said. “We apologize for the set-up issue on our end, but we are taking feedback into account to ensure future events are more seamless.”
Panda noted that students can submit feedback to The HOP via forms on the Hopkins Groups events listings. She also explained that the group followed the same distribution strategy as previous years and that there were never enough shirts for all students.
One exciting change this year, according to Panda, was the off-campus Haunted House tour at The Nevermore. The HOP offered 100 tickets for the trip, which sold out within a few days. Panda explained why the group decided to bring the new activity to Hoptoberfest.
“We wanted to offer an off-campus event to allow students to get an opportunity to explore the city they’re in,” she said. “It’s super easy to just remain on campus within a bubble, but we wanted to break that while also supporting some of our small local businesses.”
Reflecting on her first Hoptoberfest, Lin encouraged other students to attend campus events.
“Come for the experience, it’s fun,” she said. “This can be like a reward after studying.”
According to Panda, the @hoptoberfest Instagram account will no longer be active and Hoptoberfest content will instead be shared by @jhuhop. She also encouraged students interested in helping plan events like Hoptoberfest, Lighting of the Quads and Spring Fair to join The HOP’s traditions committee.