Although many students take the short walk to the lodges, and alumni travel back to Richmond to attend Pig Roast annually, not all students are able to attend the Spring tradition.
Some members of the men's tennis, men's golf and women's lacrosse teams were not able to go to Pig Roast because of their athletic obligations.
The women's lacrosse players do not know what they are missing because they have never been to Pig Roast, said Tara Coyle, a senior on the team.
"As a Division I athlete, you will miss out on some opportunities," Coyle said, "but having the chance to play the game you love with a group of amazing people is the best opportunity to have."
Other students may have preferred to go about their Saturday just as they would any other weekend.
"I think the estimates have been that 16 to 20 percent of the student body does not drink," said Rick Mayes, political science professor. "It could be for religious reasons, personal reasons or because of the law."
A survey conducted by Mayes asked one question aimed to see how the student population felt about Pig Roast festivities. Of the 1,171 responses he received, 46 percent "loved" the event, 28 percent "liked" it and 25 percent said Pig Roast was not for them, Mayes said.
Senior Andrew Lyell said he did not go to Pig Roast this year because he had a meeting in the morning, the event didn't seem appealing to him and, as a Christian, he does not believe it is right to get drunk.
"I am not against drinking alcohol responsibly or partying," he said. "It seems that many people, although certainly not all who attend, use this event as an excuse to get drunk."
Pig Roast is a spring festival that encompasses the stereotypical interests of Richmond students, junior Lucas Virnig said.
Virnig did attend Pig Roast and although he is in a fraternity, he said he chose not to drink for personal reasons. He said that he did not fit into the drinking scene or the stereotypical fraternity "dress code" for Pig Roast, but he enjoyed the event because it gave him the opportunity to see friends and alumni.
People may be less inclined to go because they do not feel as if they would fit in, based on the behavior and clothing that the event is known for, he said.
"For those who do not fit [the stereotype], they don't feel like the event is for them and therefore do not go, whether or not they drink," Virnig said.
Senior Darrian Carmichael said he had never been to Pig Roast because he had always had football practice and had been more comfortable hanging out in his room or going home to see family.
The event is a way to get people together and give them a reason to drink all day long, but it's not for everyone, he said. He said he thought Pig Roast had been mostly for people in fraternities and sororities because some athletes did not feel welcome in the lodges.
Senior Sebastian Fauchet is part of Greek life and is also on the tennis team. He said he thought Pig Roast had been mainly a Greek event, too. But as an athlete, he said that athletes felt as though they had to know someone in one of the fraternities to feel accepted and comfortable enough to enter a lodge.
Some people may like to go out and party, but other times they may want a different option, said Lisa Miles, associate director of Common Ground.
"As we become a more diverse campus, we are going to bring people in with different perspectives and lifestyles," Miles said.
An alternative Pig Roast event coordinated by Ron Pritchett, a senior resident assistant, was held at Atlantic House for students who weren't into the lodge scene. Students could have fun, eat and listen to music without directly being in the drinking atmosphere.
Pritchett held a similar event last year and said the RA program had been successful. This year, he said there were 83 people who attended the alternate event.
Pig Roast is an important event for the traditional college student, but there should be an alternate location for others who don't fit that social scene, he said.
"You have those who don't drink and those who don't feel welcome or accepted in the fraternity lodges," Pritchett said. "This is an alternate place for people who fall in that category to enjoy Pig Roast festivities without having to actually go to the lodge."
The Cultural Advisers Alternatives also hosted an event on Saturday night in the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., which more than 50 people attended.
CA Alternatives host events every Saturday night, said senior Aleah Goldin, the coordinator of the organization. The theme for this event was "Recess Night," which included dodgeball, volleyball, basketball, food from Chipotle and ice cream sundaes, she said.
Goldin said that CA Alternatives wanted to provide students with a break from the partying social space. "Recess Night" was an opportunity for some of those students to hang out with people in a larger setting and still feel as though they were an essential part of campus, Goldin said.
"[I think] Pig Roast is something that some people love and cherish and it is the best time of the year for them," she said. "For others, it can be the opposite because they don't feel as part of this tradition or it conflicts with their beliefs."
Contact reporter Marie Jayme at firstname.lastname@example.org