The COVID-19 pandemic has kept in-person gatherings and events at bay for nearly two years. This, however, is beginning to change. Students are again experiencing a campus that is full of the hustle and bustle of weekly events.
“We are seeing an uptick in events this semester and this year because COVID restrictions have been and are being lifted, most specifically the restriction to gather,” said Jennifer Yawson, director for Campus Life at Albion College.
Last school year, most annual campus events were held virtually. This year, a number of events were able to take place in-person.
“This year has definitely been a better year for student organizations,” said Yawson. “We were able to have an in-person Briton Bash, which allowed new students to see first hand all the organizations that are available, and being able to meet and gather more in person has definitely added to the life on campus.”
This has improved morale for students on campus.
“Now that organizations on campus have more opportunities for events on campus, I feel an optimistic spirit among the students,” said Peter Filbrandt, South Haven junior, via email. “In past semesters, it was always disheartening to hear that events or programs were canceled that we all looked forward to. I hope that in the coming months we will be able to experience events that we remember from years ago, as well as new ones.”
In the coming weeks, there are a number of different events and activities scheduled to take place on Albion’s campus. Events and activities include self care nights, instructor-led meditation sessions, a create-a-canvas painting party and Big Show, among other things.
Some upcoming campus events are being held for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“A lot of students are excited about the (Union Board) Big Show since we haven’t been able to have one the last two years because of COVID,” said Yawson.
Underclassmen have yet to experience an Albion spring full of in-person campus events and activities. This is a distant memory for those who attended Albion prior to the pandemic.
“As a member of Greek life, I have always anticipated the events featured during Greek Week in the spring semester,” said Filibrandt, via email. “However, in all of my three years at Albion, I have not been able to experience the week’s programs in-person.”
Filbrandt is optimistic about being able to attend future campus events in an in-person manner.
“I look forward to the fall and potentially experiencing a more normal Homecoming celebration where I can reconnect with my friends who graduated and other alumni,” said Filibrandt, via email.
Nevertheless, Filbrandt feels that COVID-19 and the risks it poses need not be forgotten.
“I hope that the increase in events around campus will be able to continue while ensuring the health and safety of all participating,” said Filbrandt via electronic communication. “Although more events may be a sign of changing times, I feel that we should all keep in mind that we are still living through the pandemic and that another spike in cases or emergence of a variant is possible.”
There are a number of different platforms that students can utilize to find out more about upcoming events.
“The best way to find out what is happening is to read the daily Albion Today messages,” said Yawson. “Students can also follow Campus Life, Union Board and other student organizations on social media to see what is happening on campus.”
There are also ways for students to contribute to the types of events held on campus.
“If students have any ideas of events that they would like to see on campus, please let us know,” said Yawson. “They can email firstname.lastname@example.org and share their ideas with us. We want to provide events that students want to attend.”
All of the campus events are free of charge for students.