Signs advertising free beer and a stretch bus limousine – it appeared to many on Thursday afternoon that UC Davis was hosting a wild keg crawl.
Yet the event was Sequoia Fest, an annual event held by Sequoia Equities showcasing Tanglewood, University Village and Sharps and Flats apartment complexes.
However, the event sparked some opposition after it was scheduled to take place the same time as ASUCD’s Housing Day at the ARC Pavilion, Jan. 21. The non-associated events are both held as vehicles to publicize the various apartment complexes located in Davis, where students can potentially sign a lease at the complex of their choosing.
Senior biotechnology major Don Gibson and director of ASUCD’s Office of City and County Affairs declined to comment.
“Housing Day and Sequoia Fest are separate events, so historically we have hosted each event on separate days,” said Director of Marketing for Sequoia Equities Lisa Trapp in an e-mail interview. “This year, however, we decided that Sequoia Fest and Housing Day would run concurrent with each other in attempt to maximize exposure for both events by combining resources.”
The ASUCD Office of City and County Affairs has hosted and Housing Day for a consecutive 35 years. Sequoia Equities, who has participated in Housing Day for the last three years, was awarded sponsorship for this year’s Housing Day for their $4,000 contribution. As a result, Sequoia was given priority in setting the date of the ASUCD event.
“It was relatively effective for Sequoia to use Housing Day as leverage for Sequoia Fest,” said Robert Jordan, first-year international relations major and attendee of both events. “You have students attending Housing Day, and then you see the stretch limo outside, and you can’t help but have your curiosity piqued.”
While Housing Day took place, Sequoia Equities simultaneously parked a stretch limo bus with a 30-person carrying capacity in the ARC parking lot to shuttle students to the three Sequoia properties. At each location, students were offered free catered food from the Cheesecake Factory, special leasing rates for the following school year and free beer for those of age. Representatives of Sequoia Properties hoped that the joint events would generate more student attendance for not just Sequoia Fest, but for Housing Day as well.
“The success of Housing Day for our business is reliant on student attendance, so we would never seek to hinder [Housing Day],” said Trapp. “This year, we think Sequoia Fest was an attraction to the event and a way to extend the attendee’s experience.”
Housing Day generated nearly 1,500 students by the event’s end, an increase of about 500 students relative to last year. The 50 apartment complexes present at the event additionally contributed to another record high, with only 40 complexes attending the year prior.
“It’s important to provide information for students [on Housing Day] so they can effectively, efficiently and knowledgeably navigate the waters of housing searches,” said Sabrina Dias, first-year Housing Coordinator with EAC. “Housing Day is a perfect jump start to their search for housing because they are provided with the tools needed to find the right apartment complex for them.”
REBECCA SHRAGGE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: Jan. 25, 2010 – Monday’s article about Housing Day misidentified the organizers of the event as the ASUCD External Affairs Commission. Housing Day is actually organized by the Office of City and County Affairs. Don Gibson is the director of the Office of City and County Affairs, not the External Affairs Commission. The article also reported that there were “kegs at every location.” In fact, Sequoia provided a keg at Tanglewood Apartments only.