The 37th Annual BestFest was held on Friday, November 6, 2015, as part of the week’s Homecoming festivities. The event continues to grow and this year drew an estimated crowd of over 10,000 people. Alumni and community members are welcome to attend this campus tradition, which now features a carnival, top ten artist performance, the Golf Cart Parade, and continues to offer food booths with everything from fried Oreos to hamburgers. The night ends with a bang with a huge fireworks show that most claim is one of the best they have seen.
The homecoming court was introduced during a pep rally which also featured Coach Coker and the Football Team Captains. During this time, people were also getting anxious with the appearance of International recording artist, Estelle. Estelle has recently been on the television show, Empire and sings the song Conqueror. She also sings the duet American Boy with Kanye West.
With all of the moving parts on this event, the Office of Student Activities would like to thank everyone who helped make it a huge success. There are numerous risks that have to be managed when you have food booths and preparation to the public, carnival rides, a fireworks show, and electrical needs throughout the grounds. Environmental Health and Safety staff members were on hand to mitigate the risks involved. The fireworks in particular fall under the leadership of John DeLaHunt. Once again, this was a great partnership.Back to Top
This year, there were additional carnival rides that added to some of the work. John also helped with this. Of course in the procurement of a carnival and entertainment there are a lot of contracts and purchase orders to be made. Robert Dickens and Julie Gohlke were great partners in helping this happen flawlessly. Once these events are contracted, there has to be payment made and the Disbursements and Travel Services team were excellent in their service and help in the event as well. Nora Compean, Kelly Rock, and the whole DTS staff were helpful.
This year there was also a single point of sale on purchases and Gary Lott and Char Mikulec were helpful in this process. The UTSA Police Department were excellent in their service to the event, helping close roads for the Golf Cart Parade, monitoring the grounds and ensuring attendees were safe from the fireworks. Captain Douglas Sonego and the entire Patrol Division were extremely helpful in the success and safety of revelers to BestFest. This was especially important this year as alcohol was available for purchase by the public.
The facilities team and GCA went above and beyond to ensure the area was set and returned to normal in a short amount of time. John Japhet always ensures this event goes off without a hitch. Business Auxiliary Services was instrumental in the event as they helped take the BK1 Parking Lot off line and also allowed use of the Ximenes Garage for the fireworks and this year, the Golf Cart Decorating Party, due to inclement weather. Clay Haverland was a true team player on this event.
From Student Affairs, the help and contributions of all who attended are appreciated. We especially want to thank Athletics for their collaboration in sharing part of the venue space during UTSA events. In addition, we want to sincerely thank Ruth Coates, Annie Maynes, Laura Munroe, Anna Paccione, Kayla Larsen, Courtney Boyd, and staff members at the UC and Campus Rec for their help as ticket sellers during the event. Events such as BestFest are a true collaboration of many people. We have named some specifically in this article. Our hope is that none were left out.
With divisional leaders such as Kathy Funk-Baxter and Sam Gonzales, the level of collaboration can easily be taken for granted, but it should be said that it takes a lot of work with many people working together. Their leadership in events such as this really brings a sense of community to our students and our university.
On October 28, 2015, the campus was filled with excitement and full of community as more than 15,000 students converged on the field adjacent to the BK5 lot. The event was the Victoria’s Secret Pink Concert which featured appearances by Victoria’s Secret models wearing the Pink line of UTSA licensed merchandise, DJ Irie from Miami, and Grammy Award winning recording artist Zedd.
UTSA students won the concert from the company as they beat 98 other schools in a social media campaign and tapping contest. In late September the students tapped their phones in excess of 342,000,000 million times. Everyone got excited for the tapping. Dr. Romo even joined in to tap on his phone.
The event which was brought to UTSA and paid for by Victoria’s Secret Pink still required the combined efforts of several entities at UTSA. Some of those entities included Student Activities, Business Auxiliary Services, Aramark, Contracts and Purchasing, Legal Affairs, UTSA Police, Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities and Grounds including GCA, just to name a few. The hard work and dedication of the staff in these units really made the difference in its success!
This was a true partnership between Business Affairs, Legal Affairs, and Student Affairs. Both units worked behind the scenes on a very tight timeline to ensure that the event was a success. The event was labeled a huge success and brought positive comments from many students and prospective students. Top tier events such as this are exciting for our current students and prospective students as well.
Submitted by —
Associate Dean of Students,