While living in a “new normal,” Bradley adapted its usual Welcome Week to abide by COVID-19 safety regulations and worked to keep things as similar to past years as possible.
Events were split up between in-person and virtual activities. Each student organization was left to determine what they wanted to do for Welcome Week, based on university regulations.
Attendees were required to wear face masks and social distance. Catering could not be brought to events and there were special procedures for bringing acts to campus.
With these regulations, and the move-in schedule being altered to allow social distancing and safety requirements, certain Welcome Week events were also spread out over multiple days.
The Student Activities Fair, an event that usually happens on the Monday before classes, took place over Air Meet across two days, Aug. 23 and 24.
“We decided to break up the activities fair into four smaller fairs to give students an easier time of looking for clubs that they are interested in, and we usually have some student leaders who have overlapping clubs and want to be at two tables or more during the in-person fairs,” said Cara Wood, director of Student Activities.
The fair was broken up into categories based on the organizations participating. Students who logged in could meet with members to talk or share screens if they wanted.
“Our biggest priority was making sure that all students, no matter where they are, could be reached, whether that’s at home, remote, able to come in person, if they wanted to come in person, come from dorm rooms, that there is really something for everyone,” senior and president of ACBU Ian Fournie said.
Late Night BU adapted from being held in Markin to being “Not-so-Late Night” held on Sunday, Aug. 23 all over campus between both the Olin and Alumni Quads so everyone could keep a 6 foot distance.
“The Late Night BU team really enjoyed the event outdoors and would like to see if we can continue something like that in the future,” Wood said. “Now, we did have to move the event up earlier to capitalize on the daylight, but that is something that we would consider doing again.”
ACBU held its event Live! On Main, trivia night with Tiffany Haddish, on Monday, Aug. 24. The winner won a flatscreen TV and some participants received a free T-shirt.
“It was our first event that we did with multiple rooms across campus, where we did the live streaming, where we had Zoom calls going and that was something we’ve never done something like that before,” Fournie said.
Around 200 people attended Live! On Main. Haddish presented a Kahoot! with questions ranging from general knowledge and identifying actors to Beyoncé and superheroes. Assistant director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Jhoanna Vega-Rocha asked Haddish 10 questions about her career and projects.
“My roommates and I watched from online, but I know they had different rooms set up with the show on campus,” junior biomedical science major Taylor Gammell said.
Although the university and campus organizations are planning for non-pandemic conditions for next semester and the fall, there are similar thought processes that can be applied from this fall semester.
“This was a brand new way of doing ACBU events and it’s always to encourage people to keep thinking outside the box when making events, thinking what’s the best way we can reach students where they are at, and I think that’s something that can continue past the pandemic,” Fournie said.
Students were still eager to participate and attend these events, and Gammell said she believes they went well.
“Each one had to work with what they had and they didn’t seem too hindered by being virtual or social distancing,” Gammell said. “I enjoyed the LNBU all around campus because it was nice to be able to walk around and there were so many activities to do.”