Block Party kicks off spring semester


Maria Cardona

Mark Kelly, vice president of Student Success, spoke to new students about the spring semester and gave his famous “Hell Yeah” liturgy. 

By Campus Reporter

Mark Kelly, vice president of Student Success, commanded students to turn The Loft into a mosh pit to ring in the spring semester.

Kelly delivered his iconic “Hell Yeah” liturgy to new and returning students Jan. 28 in the 916 S. Wabash Ave. Building for the 2016 Block Party, an annual event welcoming returning students and initiating new students into the college community.

“We are the high church of creative practice,” Kelly said. “We have a calling, we have a belief system [and] we have values.”

The three-hour event featured representatives from 75 student organizations and health clubs, as well as information on upcoming college events. The meeting encouraged students to learn about the college’s various organizations and resources.

Josh Corson, a junior creative writing major, attended the  Block Party to represent Point Blank, a poetry club he launched in the Fall 2015 Semester.

Corson said the club currently has 15–20 members and hosts open mic nights featuring well-established Chicago writers and student performers throughout the semester.

“The hope is to connect the poetry community and  writers to what is going on around the city of Chicago,” Corson said.

Jacki Licciardi, coordinator of Student Organizations & Leadership, said she organized the Block Party to help students get more involved with Columbia and the student body. 

“This is vital because being involved in extra curricular activities helps build a community,” Licciardi said. “You make friends and build connections, and it is important for students to feel connected to college outside of their courses.”

New students were also encouraged to start their own organizations or clubs. The more involved students are with their peers, the more successful they will be, Licciardi said.

New students were welcomed and encouraged to work hard and take advantage of the college and its resources.

“This is the moment where we welcome our new students [to] become a part of our community,” Kelly said. “[It] reminds us all what the hell we’re here for.”