The Lipscomb Office of Intercultural Development prepares to stomp: Stompfest 2018

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Stompfest, a Lipscomb University tradition and student favorite, will take the stage November 14 at 7 p.m. in Collin’s Auditorium.

Students keep the beat in the annual step show for judges made up of faculty, staff and alumni, this year a one-night-only performance.

Hosted by the Office of Intercultural Development, the rhythm-dancing phenomenon has been revamped with even more opportunities for students to participate this year.

“We want this to be an event that is open and encouraged and for all students to feel like they can join in and participate,” said Candace Williams, development coordinator for the Office of Intercultural Development.

The first step towards inclusion was doing away with the past tradition of a singular show director. Instead, the OID developed a committee of eight students to help in the planning process. Since September these students have used their knowledge of social club culture and previous performances to plan each facet of the event including advertising, ticket sales and backstage logistics.

With all new staff this year, including Dean of Intercultural Development Prentice Ashford, the OID has relied heavily on the expertise of the planning committee in working through difficulties.

According to Ashford one such challenge is, “getting students to view this as more than a social club event... anybody can participate.” Stompfest2017

Traditionally each competing team is represented by a social club, making the show a Greek life-centric performance. The OID is hoping to produce inclusivity for all students this year.

Williams said they have been working really hard to “keep the essence” of the event that each social club looks forward to each year, while still allowing non-greek life students a place to participate.

Many social clubs begin rehearsal of their Stompfest routine as early as the previous semester, an elusive standard for students not within an organization. To involve more students, a new “Independent Team” category was created for non-Greek life competitors.

Finally, a contest within the contest was added as another opportunity for students to get involved.

“We’re encouraging anybody to get their favorite Lipscomb thing and create a 30-second to one minute Super Bowl-style commercial,” said Ashford, who is most excited for this portion of the event.

The video can promote anything -- a class, a place on campus, a club -- Ashford said, “We’re just trying to advertise for campus and show the creativity of students who don’t have the time to put in.”

The commercials will be featured throughout the event as fillers in-between each group performance. Audience members will choose which video they deem worthy of the $150 Bison Cash prize.

For Ashford and Williams, Stompfest is a fun event for ALL students on campus. As newbies there’s a lot for them to figure out, but also a lot to look forward to.

“I’m just excited to see this event!” said Williams.