Al Fresco takes over Hayward campus



Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

Music erupted from the speakers on the makeshift stage in the Arts and Education walkway as the 27th annual fall festival welcomed students, staff, faculty, alumni and the community to take part in the festivities.

The main event was a concert headlined by pop singer Pia Mia and hip hop artist Casey Veggies”

The event, known as al Fresco, was held on Thursday, Oct 1 and could be heard from anywhere on Cal State East Bay’s Hayward campus. The main event was a concert headlined by pop singer Pia Mia and hip hop artist Casey Veggies, whose song “Backflip” produced by and featuring Richmond native Iamsu!, put the crowd in a frenzy.

However, the event was much more than a concert, it featured over a hundred tables and booths that provided information about departments, organizations, food, games, giveaways and more event and more.

Director of Student Life and Leadership Marguerite Hinrichs said the goal of the event was to connect students with the resources available to them, as well as highlight clubs, organizations and the importance of student involvement on campus.

CSUEB President Leroy M. Morishita delivered a greeting to all of the attendees where he encouraged students, faculty and staff to be active on campus and explore what programs and services the school has to offer. More than 100 clubs, departments and organizations set up tables and booths not just to give away free stuff, but also to get the word out about their organization and its goals.

“I always wondered what it would take to get a minor in human development, and now I know,” student Jasmine Salas said. “The concert is just bonus, the information is way more valuable.”

Last year’s event featured local artists from Oakland, Adrian Marcel and Los Rakas. This year’s event also featured CSUEB talent in the form of Joe Tolo, a CSUEB student who was featured on the NBC show “The Voice” and Braxxy, who has become a campus favorite with his fast rap delivery comparable to Twista or Eminem. Hinrichs explained that student performers are selected based on their participation in talent shows at campus events, such as orientations.

The concert is just bonus, the information is way more valuable.”

“The goal for booking professional acts is to provide opportunities outside of the classroom for students, staff, and faculty to interact, connect and engage around a common purpose, in this case, music,” Hinrichs said.

Hinrichs went on further to say that students have a say over what performers will participate and can relay their requests through CSUEB’s Associated Students Inc.

Program Coordinator Marc Cochran is responsible for booking the professional acts and while he did not want to disclose the price for the artist’s appearance he did say, “In negotiating with artists, and agents I’ve noticed that timing plays the biggest part in acquiring anyone. If you get them, accommodate their needs, be hospitable and they’ll spread the word about your school.”

The event drew current and former students as well as some people that have no connections to CSUEB. Donovan Trujillo is not a student at CSUEB but a friend told him about the event and he decided to check it out for himself.

“Honestly, I heard Casey Veggies was performing for free so I was up here,” Trujillo said. “$10 to park and I get a free show, yes please.”

According to Hinrichs, Student Life worked with the Music and Theater departments to highlight campus programs like the East Bay Choir and African Drumming Circle, both of which performed this year.