No Fall Festival this year

Hannah Ash

IU Southeast will not be hosting the annual Harvest Homecoming Fall Festival this year, said Interim Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer.

“Please know that it is only after careful deliberation and with a recognition of loss that we have decided the IU Southeast Fall Festival will not be held this year,” Bichelmeyer said in an e-mail to the campus.

She explained that while the university will not be holding the Fall Festival, IU Southeast is supporting Harvest Homecoming as a platinum sponsor. According to the Harvest Homecoming website, platinum sponsors are sponsors that have contributed $5,000 or more.

Erica Walsh, IU Southeast public relations specialist, explained that there were several factors considered before deciding against holding the festival. Walsh said originally, the Fall Festival was planned around the hot air balloon launch. The launch used to take place in the open field southeast of the Activities Building, Walsh said. However, in 2012, the construction began of a new parking lot in the open field where the launch used to be held. Because of this, campus made the decision to move the Fall Festival to the IU Southeast amphitheater last year.

“Between the absence of the balloon launch and the relocation, we saw a decrease in attendance at last year’s festival,” Walsh said.

Vice chancellor of administrative affairs, Dana Wavle, said funds impacted the decision as well. The campus experienced a $2.5 million reduction in funding because of enrollment trends, Wavle said. To balance the budget, funds had to be redirected for activities that directly relate to student services and instruction.

“Good financial stewardship requires difficult decisions when it comes to resource allocation,” Wavle said. “Providing high quality education to our students and community will remain our highest priority.”

Bichelmeyer said she realizes how important the Fall Festival is to the IU Southeast community and wants the university to continue to play a role in Harvest Homecoming.

“The campus has been honored to participate in Harvest Homecoming in the past, and this year we will continue to support their efforts,” Bichelmeyer said. “We will take this year to assess the way we’ve done Fall Festival previously to ensure our future efforts are serving our community by promoting our core academic mission.”

Online Editor

hash@ius.edu