The student festival, which featured music from the Latin American diaspora, was the first major event on campus this fall.
Ryan Chiao, Editor and President
After a two-year hiatus, Bulldog Bash returned to campus this past weekend with a bang.
Bulldog Bash, an annual event first held in 2018 under then-Yale College Dean Marvin Chun, is a celebration on the old campus with music, food and drink for first-graders. cycle. The event is a collaboration between the Yale College Dean’s Office and the Schwarzman Center, with catering provided by Yale Hospitality. The theme of last Saturday’s event centered on the cultures of the Latin American diaspora. The Schwarzman Center hosted several Latinx artists including ChocQuibTown, Mexican Institute of Sound, Villano Antillano, Batalá New York and Rimarkable, and Yale Hospitality handed out a menu including ceviche, empanadas and mock mojitos.
“It’s really nice to see [Bulldog Bash] get people back having fun, you know, relaxing, getting to know each other, and you know, just the excitement at the start of a new school year,” Yale College Dean Pericles Lewis told The News . “I feel like everyone is having a good time.”
Lewis said he felt the event was a success, with the old campus transforming into a vibrant space with lively dancing and cooking spots, in addition to student conversation spaces reconnecting after a summer apart. .
Jennifer Newman ART ’11, Associate Artistic Director of the Schwarzman Center, saw the event serving two purposes: “an introduction and a welcome reception.”
“I started to really think about joy,” Newman said. “And then I just started thinking about what’s happy – dancing is happy. So I started thinking about music that makes you want to dance.
Newman explained that Latinx music is rich in diversity, with rhythms that come together and “speak[ing] to each other through sounds, through languages.
With this idea in mind, Newman found up-and-coming artists whose work – ranging from hip hop to Latin rap – made powerful statements about identity.
“What really interests me about each of these artists is that they also look at their work in a broader way,” Newman said. “They’re thinking about, you know, their platforms and what issues they feel like bringing to light.”
This year’s celebrations brought back Maria Elena Garcia, also known as Rimarkable, as the festival’s official DJ. Rimarkable has performed at every Bulldog Bash since the celebration began in 2018.
Rimarkable said she hopes students from all walks of life will feel welcome.
“I want to bring everyone together,” Rimarkable said. “You know, there are a ton of freshmen who will be there. And with the nervousness of their first time away from home…they’re excited.
According to Maurice Harris, director of marketing and communications at the Schwarzman Center, this year’s Bulldog Bash required an extensive social media campaign to raise awareness of the event.
Previously, Harris explained, Bulldog Bashes had been held without significant marketing because the event serves as “something fun to do” before classes start and would therefore likely generate organic buzz within the Yale community. This year, however, most students were unfamiliar with the event – only students who started in the original Class of 2023 or earlier had experienced a Bulldog Bash – and so a social media campaign with posters and a special Lewis announcement popularized the event.
“One of the funniest things about Bulldog Bash marketing is how quickly it spreads by word of mouth,” Harris told The News.
Michael Ofodile ’26 spoke of one moment in particular when he saw college president Peter Salovey dancing at the Bash.
“He looked like he was having fun,” Ofodile said. “The music was amazing and I loved hearing all the different sounds [of the artists].”
Andrew Lake ’26 said he thought the event was fun, loud and energetic. He particularly appreciated the music of the artists, as well as the meals offered by Yale Hospitality.
“It was awesome,” Lake said. “The music was fun, electric.”
Jeongjun Yun ’25 described how, as the first big event held on campus for freshmen and transfer students like him, Bulldog Bash helped him get a sense of the college experience – full of people, food and music.
“It was great because as a transfer student I didn’t have much [of an] opportunity to meet freshmen,” Yun said. “Like when you’re queuing, for example, for a mocktail [you can] say hello to people waiting with you.
This year’s Bulldog Bash took place from Saturday, August 27 at 9 p.m. to Sunday, August 28 at 2 a.m.