SUU Celebrates Oktoberfest

In celebration of the German culture, the International Student and Scholar Services hosted Oktoberfest and provided free food, drinks and games for Southern Utah University students.

On Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m  the Sharwan Smith Student Center Living Room was filled with SUU students doing the chicken dance with Student Body President Nouman Kante and playing cornhole at the Oktoberfest event. 

Katie McAdams, a junior studying marketing at SUU is the current Vice President of Large Events for International Student Affairs. 

“It’s supposed to be a celebration of German culture, so we hosted activities that they actually do at Oktoberfest, like chugging rootbeer, doing the chicken dance to make it fun and exciting,” said McAdams. “It’s kind of like the vibe of an American fair but just in a different culture.”

Oktoberfest originated in Germany but is celebrated all over the world, according to McAdams. It starts in September and runs through the fall season, and ISA has made it an annual tradition to host the event during the fall semester at SUU.

With COVID-19 restrictions, parts of the event had to be adjusted. Usually held in the ballroom at nighttime, ISA typically expects 600-700 students. 

“We moved it to the living room so people could circulate more and come in and out. We created multiple entrances and exits to keep the event open,” McAdams said. “We wanted to make sure everyone is clean and safe and wearing masks, of course.”

Hand sanitizer could be found throughout the Living Room, and International Student Ambassadors avoided self-serve options and distributed food to students themselves.

McAdams has helped plan Oktoberfest since she was a freshman at SUU and has moved from planning decorations to “overseeing all of the large events and helping to coordinate and plan them” for International Student Affairs.

“My favorite part is seeing people have fun and dance. It’s fun to see them ‘drink, eat and be merry,’” McAdams said. 

During the week of Oct. 14, International Student and Scholar Services will be hosting the International Food fair, where students can celebrate different cultures from all over the world and try new food.

To keep up to date on future affairs hosted by ISS, visit their website at


Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photos by: Elizabeth Armstrong