Sand, surf and … free Lily’s!
The Student Programming Board hosted the fifth annual “Back in the ‘Bu” beach outing on Saturday that has become a Pepperdine tradition and one of the most loved events of the semester.
Every year on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, when the summer season begins to gently pass its reign to autumn (unless it’s Malibu), Pepperdine students and faculty head to Zuma Beach to celebrate the dawn of another academic year.
The Board, a group of students involved in the planning and execution of special events on campus throughout the school year, worked diligently during the end-of-summer months to plan a day that would keep all attendees entertained and on their toes. With the help of Campus Recreation — the department in charge of intramural/club sports, on-campus fitness resources and outdoor excursions — the Board was able to provide the beach gear essential to an exciting day in the sand.
“In terms of planning, ‘Back in the ‘Bu’ is one of our more laid-back events,” junior Board member Desmond Herring said while relaxing on a beach towel next to Tower 3. “Luckily, we don’t have to reserve the beach ahead of time or anything. It’s really just a matter of getting the word out, ordering burritos and collaborating with Campus Recreation to get all of the equipment out here for the day.”
Beach gear, which was free for students, included surfboards, stand-up paddle boards, boogie boards, kayaks, volleyballs, footballs, frisbees and soccer balls.
With an average temperature of 74 degrees and waves reaching up to six feet, Saturday proved to be a fantastic day for students to get into the water or get a game on with friends. At one point, a waitlist began to form for paddle boards, and all nine sand volleyball courts were occupied.
For students without a car or means to get to Zuma Beach, transportation wasn’t a problem.
“We really want to show everyone a good time and make [‘Back in the ‘Bu’] a convenient event to attend,” junior Board Member Justin Wirawan said. “We showed up here early to save the space and have free shuttles going back and forth from campus to make sure everyone can arrive and get back to school easily. We don’t want anything stopping students from coming out and having a good time with friends.”
Though the afternoon event was meant for all grade levels, it held a special function for upperclassmen. Junior Sarah Burnett pointed out how great it was to hang out and reconnect with friends from freshman year whom she hadn’t seen since going abroad.
“It’s also my last chance to be with the sophomores who will be heading abroad in a few days,” Burnett noted. “I’m glad this event brings everyone together before the school year really gets into full swing and people get pulled in different directions.”
Senior and Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association David Hylton lamented the fact that this would be his last “Back in the ‘Bu.”
“I look forward to it every year, and I hope the freshmen attending this year will make a point to go every Labor Day weekend,” Hylton said.
For first-year students, the sun-filled Saturday can be just as valuable.
“I think it’s important to show freshmen a great place to go if they feel like going to the beach, and [it’s important to show] them the classic Malibu experience that they could have,” senior Board member Anaka Osborne said. “We’re building community while also integrating the essential aspects of the area — the beach and Lily’s burritos!”
Unfortunately, the 200 burrito halves that Lily’s provided didn’t last very long. By 11:30 a.m., the supply of free food (which happens to be most attendees’ favorite part of the day) had been wiped clean.
“We may have no food left, but it means the event was a huge hit,” Wirawan said.
“I don’t know when this started, but they’ve been doing this since before I got here,” Herring said. “That’s a pretty long time. I think it’s safe to call it a tradition by now.”
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