By Sean Leonard
In response to the reduction in student Covid-19 cases and easing of restrictions, the Division of Student Affairs announced a small group event series taking place every Monday and Thursday at the Brower Student Center (BSC) until the end of the semester. Events will include ping pong, DIY crafts, Bingo and more.
The first night was March 17, which included Bingo, DIY stress balls and ping pong, according to BSC student manager Meghan Buckley. Buckley is a senior psychology major who has worked at the BSC since 2019. For students interested in attending, Buckley said the events operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Bingo and DIY-related events are currently limited to nine students, and the larger game room which allows ping pong holds 12.
Buckley said students showed interest in the first night and she was able to give gift cards to the winners of the events. However, she still misses seeing more students in the Student Center and wished more people utilize the safe space they provide.
“It was cool because they were all talking and getting to know each other while playing. It’s evident that everyone is on the same page,” Buckley said. “We miss interacting with and meeting new people.”
Kelly Hennessy, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, said the College is increasing in-person events because of the decrease in positive Covid-19 cases on-campus. This has allowed the College to answer concerns of parents and students by providing more on-campus events for first-year students. According to the Spring-Flex Dashboard, ten on-campus students tested positive in the last two weeks, compared to the older surge which included 67 cases in a 10-day period.
“Originally, we believed that this need would have been filled by student organizations hosting on-campus events, but so far very few student organizations have planned in-person events,” Hennessy said. “However, student organization in-person events will slowly increase as the semester progresses as well.”
Hennessy said that Career Services hired seven student interns through Handshake to reach the demand of the upcoming in-person events. Buckley said that once the interns are hired, they will be planning events for the rest of the semester. She said the Division of Student Affairs organized the first few dates and activities.
Kiley Cinelli, assistant director of BSC, said the recent updates from Gov. Murphy on indoor and outdoor capacities will allow the BSC to invite more students to participate and meet new people.
“On March 19, indoor capacities will increase from 10 to 25, with 6 feet physical distance, and outdoor will increase from 25 to 50 people,” Cinelli said. “We are excited about these changes and hope it allows for more students to find ways to engage and make friends.”
Cinelli said other days of the week for events may be added in the future, and the BSC will make sure all safety protocols continue to be followed. Buckley also said the BSC hopes to host some larger events on the Sundial and Green Lawns when the warm weather comes.
For the week of March 22, Buckley said trivia will be added for Monday and coloring will be introduced on Wednesday. Bingo will return on Wednesday and both dates will include DIY stress balls and ping pong as well.
“We will be adding events to test them out and keeping some of them based on popularity in the future,” Buckley said. “We will also be adding outdoor events for when it gets warmer. We are all still working on our ideas and trying to make them Covid-safe.”
For future updates and details, students can follow @thisweekattcnj and @tcnjbsc on Instagram.