CAB hosts virtual events for students

On the first week of school, this time last year, Bayou Park was teeming with students. Despite the boiling sun of Louisiana summer, a lot of students could hardly resist the urge to enjoy the events planned out by the Campus Activities Board.

Students came out in groups to enjoy the petting zoo and take cool pictures of themselves holding a snake or an alligator. Some other students had their fun in the rock-climbing section where they tried to climb as high as their wits would let them.

However, due to the coronavirus, CAB has had to make heavy changes to the fall 2020 Week of Welcome. Instead of scraping the tradition for this semester, CAB decided to preserve it and to help the incoming freshmen feel as welcome as possible despite the current situation.  They were able to do this while attempting to maintain ULM’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“This year is certainly unlike any year we’ve experienced before and because of that, universities aren’t taking advantage of vendors and companies that we use to book normal face-to-face events.” Joel Sinclair, the coordinator of student activities said. “Instead, we have to focus more on virtual events just for the safety of the campus.”

Virtual events run themselves, according to Sinclair. Student organizations only had to book events and then market them, but they give students a way to stay engaged and safe. When CAB hosted the virtual mind reading game, some students who participated also had their friends with them.

Kaylia Chailiah, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major, and her friend Alexis Faucheaux, a sophomore criminal justice major, both attended the virtual Week of Welcome events.

They participated in the virtual mind reading event, murder mystery game and magic show. They both agreed that they enjoyed the mind reading event the most among all the events.

“Whether or not we should keep the events depends on how the world changes.” Chailiah said. “Like if we still have more online classes then it might be something that people would be interested in, but if we go back to the way things used to be, then probably not.”

Faucheaux said having the virtual events made Week of Welcome more fun and easier to socially distance during the pandemic.

She also suggested that CAB continue to have virtual campus engaging activities throughout the semester to help students cope with the pandemic.

Sinclair also explained the process of choosing the events they presented to the students. He said that after receiving feedback from the board executives, they asked the members of CAB and the committee heads to choose what events they would like to see virtually.

Surprisingly, a lot of students chose the virtual murder mystery game probably because of the interactive nature of the event.

He went on to explain how he noticed that even during the virtual events, the students still participated with their friend groups.

He said that with the  pandemic going on, students still have the need to expereince college life with their friends by their side and knowing this is heartbreaking. So, Sinclair hopes the virtaul events will help.