This past week, the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) at the University of Maine welcomed students to the new spring semester by hosting their regular welcome week events. In collaboration with the Campus Activities Board (CAB), and other staff and community members at UMaine, CSI was able to host events throughout the week of Jan. 25.
Christina Harrick of CSI explained that due to the COVID-19 testing result wait times, none of the welcome week events were held in a typical in-person setting.
“The [CSI] is being extremely conscientious about safety precautions to ensure that we can still host events for our students,” Harrick said. “[For instance] for our drive-through events, we made sure that students that wished to participate wear masks and maintain a 6-foot distance from other individuals.”
On Monday and Tuesday the CSI hosted a “Stuff-A-Buddy” event that took place across these two days. According to Harrick, this event was one of CSI’s most popular events, where students could pick up a “buddy” and stuff it themselves, like a Build-a-Bear experience. This past week the CSI offered four different “buddy” choices.
“The line of socially-distanced students [for the Stuff-A-Buddy event] led from our location in the Bangor Room all the way back to the Union Market,” Harrick reported.
Jan 28 was “DIY Planner Night.” The event began at 8 p.m. in the North Pod and was hosted by CAB, a student-run organization that often hosts events on Thursday evenings. The “DIY Planner Night” was a drive-thru event where students picked up event kits in the North Pod and were asked to return to their residence to complete the activity.
According to Harrick, the “DIY Planner” night was worthwhile for those who attended.
“This event is sure to make students feel organized and energized for the semester ahead,” Harrick said.
On Jan 29, CSI hosted an event titled “Things You Left at Home Mingo” over Zoom at 9 p.m. According to Harrick, this popular event is one “that routinely has stellar attendance.” To participate, those who logged into the Zoom link were given an easily accessible virtual Mingo card. Students that obtained a valid “Mingo” (like bingo but with an M for Maine) during the game got their pick of a variety of prizes such as laundry detergent and even a Baby Yoda pillow — things often left at home.
Saturday was “Paint Your Own Succulent Pot” night at 8:30 p.m. This event was a hybrid event, as it had in-person and virtual components. The in-person component was similar to that of the “DIY Planner Night.” Students were required to pick up supplies for the activity prior to the event on Saturday. The supplies included paint, a succulent pot and of course, a succulent. Once students headed back to their residences, students could share their artwork and the final succulent pot designs via a Zoom call.
Once in-person events start up again, CSI will be making efforts to ensure the events are safe.
“We will be making sure to sanitize all shared surfaces and materials before and after the [different] programs, as well as space out desks, tables and chairs to ensure a safe distance is kept between each student,” Harrick said. She also noted that that mask-wearing protocol will be strictly followed. “Those that show up without a face mask or take their mask off during the event will be asked to leave.”
Follow the Center for Student Involvement on campus, on their website umaine.edu/studentinvolvement and on social media @um.getinvolved for information on upcoming events.