Student Union Board hosts annual AnTostal event in hopes of creating on-campus bliss
Mike Dugan | Wednesday, April 24, 2019
The Notre Dame Student Union Board (SUB) is hosting AnTostal, its annual spring festival full of food, giveaways and events this week.
Senior Bethany Boggess, outgoing executive director of SUB, said in an email that she “had very little to do with the nitty gritty planning of AnTostal,” as the responsibility for panning the event fell largely upon junior Eric Kim, the outgoing co-director of programming for SUB, who will serve as SUB’s executive director for the 2019-2020 academic year, as well as senior Bridget Naylor-Komyatte, who has served as lead programmer of AnTostal during the 2018-2019 academic year.
This year’s edition of AnTostal, dubbed “BlissTostal,” focuses on what the email sent to the student body described as “all things bliss” — five different food giveaways throughout the week, a Zumba Class in the Duncan Student Center on Tuesday, mindfulness meditation Wednesday, inflatables and a zip line on South Quad on Thursday and stress relievers Friday.
Naylor-Komyatte said the title “BlissTostal” was chosen to the focus on wellness in this year’s AnTostal programming.
“We kinda realized that [for] a lot of our events we wanted to focus on wellness, so, we really tried to fit a theme centered around that,” she said. “We narrowed it down to a few choices, and ‘BlissTostal’ was the one that kind of stuck. We think that our events speak to bliss — well-being, happiness, joy — from different areas of wellness.”
Naylor-Komyatte said the theme of “bliss” was not determined until well into the second semester, which is unusual for AnTostal — an event that takes over seven months to plan.
“[BlissTostal] wasn’t our original theme,” Naylor-Komyatte said. “We had decided on a theme in September and then, because of difficulties coordinating with different clubs and different vendors, the events basically didn’t fit with that theme anymore. So, we had to change our theme, less than two months before [AnTostal]. … Typically, you stick with the theme from the first semester into the second semester.”
Naylor-Komyatte said there were other SUB events budgeted for at the beginning of the fiscal year that failed to materialize. As a result, she said there was more than enough money to put on AnTostal without worrying about tight budgetary constraints that she otherwise would have expected.
“At first, AnTostal had a bit of a more limited budget,” she said. “But then, due to some events that fell through in other [SUB] committees, we ended up having some extra resources that we were able to allot to AnTostal. That’s been really helpful in terms of being able to expand some of our events, like the one on the quad with the zip line and the inflatables, and not being worried about how much food we buy for breakfast and stuff. We kind of ended up with more money than we thought we would. Definitely, budgeting was a big concern when planning up to the event, but now actually executing it we ended up with more money — more resources — than we thought we were going to have.”
Naylor-Komyatte said the theme of bliss and late changes in planned programming served as two key distinguishing factors from previous years’ AnTostals.
“I think there’s just something special about this — our theme arose from our events,” Naylor-Komyatte said. “I think our events are really centered on student needs and trying to create a memorable experience at the end of the year for students — and I know that’s what AnTostal does every year, but I think something about this year is just how much it changed so rapidly at the end … how much we had to rework it, but then how it still came together.”
The goal of the AnTostal committee’s work was to put on one of SUB’s longtime signature events in a way that would make students’ lives a more blissful experience, Naylor-Komyatte said.
“AnTostal has been a tradition for over 50 years,” she said. “There’s something special about this just in the very name, ‘BlissTostal.’ I hope everyone comes away a little happier from the events. Come out, enjoy AnTostal — we’d love to see you there.”