Gadkin: Striving to live up to expectations

November 15, 2012 | 11 a.m.

What goes on to make one of Bethel's most popular traditions possible?

Culture | Nicole Patricelli 

Gadkin: Striving to live up to expectations

Dressed in James Bond attire, freshmen guys choose their "leading ladies" for the Gadkin weekend. | Drea Chalmers

Gadkin, a long-time Bethel tradition that both unites the campus and induces emotional chaos, has now concluded. The movie is probably already on YouTube, the good times are embedded in our memories and the fall-out is just about over. Yet, with all of this activity, the hard work that goes into running an event such as this can sometimes be overlooked. 

Sophomore Jessica Young, director of BU Traditions, and senior Lauren Berfeldt, Traditions Committee member, know exactly what goes into planning such a large-scale event. These two are part of a larger team that works to maintain and improve some of Bethel’s most famous events, including Gadkin, Nikdag, Saint Skate and the Homecoming Cheer. 

Specifically for Gadkin, the committee begins individually brainstorming ideas as early as July. The general outline for the project is fairly simple, as Young said, “We know what it should look like, so it’s a matter of starting with the basic ideas.” 

As soon as September hits and meetings begin, the team works to establish a running list of potential activities and themes. As a general rule, they aim for at least 50 possibilities to ensure they have enough options to combine all three events to make a cohesive theme. 

Next, Young and her committee start networking with as many organizations as possible, continuing to narrow down their options based on a few different factors. As Young explained, “Capacity is one of the obstacles and so is price.” Many of their original ideas are eliminated because of these two elements. 

Also, while planning, the team must keep the past events in mind. To ensure no repeats, they consult event evaluations from past years. 

Yet, planning Gadkin is not just about choosing the events. Other components, such as the movie and the number of participants also play a role in the planning process. On average, around 275 pairs of students participate, amounting to 550 students in all. 

Hoping to sell all of the tickets, as they have been able to in the past, the committee puts a lot of effort into designing a theme and a movie that will appeal to Bethel students.

In order to maintain a consistent theme, the team brainstorms for hours on end to come up with the perfect limericks for "the ask." All of this planning must be under the radar, compounding the challenges for committee members. 

Overall, orchestrating this event can be a difficult task. However, for those who put it together, it’s also very rewarding. Berfeldt said her favorite part of the process was “just seeing how everyone is going to respond and hoping people like it.”


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