How did AQ Refresh itself in 2016?

Story by Tamara Tiethoff, News Intern 
Photo courtesy of Andris Visockis

On Friday, February 12, students of Aquinas college as well as surrounding community members had the opportunity to take part in the campus event Refresh Yourself. The event had various activities, sponsors, and caters that helped make the night a success. Coca-Cola was the main sponsor of the night providing glass bottles, fountain soda, prizes, and red plastic Coke glasses. Our very own Aquinas College Programming Board (AQPB) was the second biggest sponsor providing the souvenirs in the Loutit room, the photo booth downstairs, and the band. A couple of other sponsors of the night were Panopoulos Salon who provided three stylists, a masseuse, and Funky Buddha Yoga, who provided an hour-long yoga session. Additionally, Art Club drew caricatures, AQ Sound provided DJ services in the Wege cafeteria, Campus Ministry provided ice cream, and the Dominican and Peru service-learning trips volunteered as cleanup crew and green crew after the event. Along with sponsors, the event had multiple vendors who catered. There was food from Creative Dining on campus, Yesterdog, Jet’s Pizza, and Erb Thai.

“I really liked the food [and] the options. Yesterdog is one of my favorites. It was cool that they handed out the Coca-Cola too,” said first-year student Kaileigh Baia.

The band at the event was called Cover Drive. They are a four-member band from Barbados consisting of the lead singer Amanda, the drummer and backing vocals T-Ray, the keyboardist and guitarist, Barry “Bar Man” Hill, and the bassist Jamar. The band previously performed as an opening act during Rihanna’s Loud Tour and has a few top chart hits in the United Kingdom.

“Personally I loved the band. I loved their music and how interactive they are. It’s always a struggle choosing a band that the students will enjoy but I definitely think this was a hit,” said AQPB vice chair, Campus Life student assistant, and junior, Nick Gregory.

Some of the activities that were offered during the night were snow cones, painted frisbees, sand art, massages, and glitter roots by Panopoulos Salons, henna tattoos, and caricatures drawings. To finish off the night, people were invited to come watch the final round of AQ Idol in the Wege ballroom. This year’s winner was junior Bhavya Thamman. In the final round she sang three different songs and during one of them played her ukulele as an accompaniment.

“I was incredibly nervous when they were announcing the winner. The other two finalists were amazing performers and I really thought my chances of winning were slim, so I was incredibly nervous about the result, but also so grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate at all,” explained Thamman.

Alongside AQ Idol being a hit, there was many other highlights of the night.

“My favorite event was probably the hennas. I also enjoyed the glitter roots and the snow cones. I liked how there was a variety of small little things to do,” explained first-year student Karlee Robinson.

With so many different vendors and activities it gave everyone a chance to participate in something they enjoy.

“It’s such a fun event, and Campus Life works really hard to put it together. The variety of activities changes every year, and it stays interesting,” stated sophomore Justina Ouellette.

Although with each passing year the event has its ups and downs, it was a big success where many students created memories that will last a lifetime.

“Last year we had a larger student turnout and fewer giveaways/sponsors. This year was odd in that we had a smaller turnout despite having more giveaways/activities, but I think that people enjoyed this year’s band and final round of AQ idol more than last year,” stated Gregory.

AQPB has already started throwing around ideas for next year’s event and can’t wait to start working on the details.

“We are always working to plan events that fit students interests, and after debriefing this year’s event, we have a lot of awesome ideas for next year and we are super excited to start planning,” said Gregory.

As Gregory said, “We are always seeking to fit the student body’s interests, and we love to hear from students. They are welcome to visit us in the campus life office or shoot us an email at”

About the Writer…

IMG_3954 copyTamara Tiethoff is a nursing major in the UDM/Aquinas program. In the future she hopes to become a neonatal nurse and continue writing on the side. She enjoys staying busy, but in her free time she loves drawing, spontaneous adventures, and coffee shops.

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