SUB seeks to relieve stress with AnTostal
Thomas Murphy | Tuesday, April 24, 2018
The days leading up to final exams are often filled with stress and anxiety, but this week the Student Union Board (SUB) is hoping to use its annual AnTostal to alleviate students’ anxiety and encourage them to enjoy themselves.
AnTostal, Irish for “the festival,” has been an annual celebration of spring and the end of the school year since the 1960s. Senior Audrey Thellman, SUB’s director of programming, said that AnTostal has always sought to provide students with some comfort in the form of giveaways as they prepare for exams.
“[AnTostal] is a weeklong series of events where we just try to show students they’re appreciated by giving them free food and free activities,” Thellman said. “It’s a last final stretch before finals week and we’ve got to make the most of the good weather that’s finally starting to happen.”
Junior Nicole Emery, AnTostal’s lead programmer this year, said that the event allows students some rest by refamiliarizing them with life outside of college.
“[AnTostal gives] students the break that they deserve and brings things to campus that almost make you feel like you’re a little bit a part of the real world again,” she said.
This year’s theme is “Tailgate Tostal.” Thellman said this theme was developed as the event’s planners sentimentalized over their final year at Notre Dame and realized the week would coincide with the spring football game.
“We came up with the theme because all of us were like ‘Oh, we miss football season, [we’re] graduating, we’re not going to have a student football season again,’ and it worked out that AnTostal started the day of the Blue and Gold Game and The Shirt reveal, so we wanted to incorporate that into our week,” Thellman said.
Emery said that “Tailgate Tostal” was also chosen because its relation to sports and Notre Dame football helps expand the event’s appeal.
“I think AnTostal is one of those events that really appeals to certain students, but others are like ‘What is it?’ so one of our goals for this year was making it an event that was really relevant to students,” Emery said. “I tried to come up with a theme that everyone would love. … [Tailgating] is a big part of the culture at Notre Dame, especially during football season.”
Events such as the Fisher Regatta and O’Neill Hall’s Cornhole tournament look to add to the sporting atmosphere surrounding AnTostal, however many of AnTostal’s events simply focus on making life easier for students as the school year comes to an end. Thellman said her favorite part of this year’s event are the free breakfasts in the courtyard outside DeBartolo Hall every morning.
“Every day in the morning we have either bagels and coffee or donuts and [orange juice],” she said. “I always liked the breakfast because I was always running late for class so when I saw that I was like ‘Perfect, I don’t have to struggle through class without my coffee.’”
Other events this year include a hot wings eating contest hosted by Pasquerilla East Hall, a Silent Disco on South Quad and an Escape Room in the LaFortune Student Center.
But AnTostal is not all fun and games for everyone. SUB’s program leaders face the daunting task of organizing dozens of events, a process which begins in September and is not fully completed until the final events are cleaned up. After describing the timeline of planning AnTostal, Emery expressed amazement that everything got done.
“It’s kind of a whirlwind,” she said. “Reflecting back on it, I’m not sure how it all came together.”
Thellman said that after so much planning and work, SUB is looking forward to seeing the event come to fruition.
“We’re just really excited. People always ask, ‘What is AnTostal?’ or ‘Why do you do it?’ and it’s just a week long fun event for students run by students,” she said.