The events during Ohio University’s Welcome Week signify the start of a new school year. This year, the show must go on — just differently. 

The Welcome Week events are virtually open to everyone, not just freshman. The events started Aug. 21 and end Aug. 29. Last week, the events included a virtual escape room at Ping, the virtual Nelsonville music festival, Drag Queen Bingo and many others. 

“Welcome Week has always been such a fun way to get back into the groove of life at OU,” Maggie Moreda, a fourth year studying nursing, said. “Virtual Welcome Week brings back a level of normalcy to the start of this hard semester!”

Bailey Plumley, a senior studying film, is the senior resident of Shivley-Perkins complex. He feels Welcome Week is a great opportunity for students to get the year started on a high note by meeting new people and being exposed to new experiences.

“With the vast majority of students attending virtually from around the world, it's especially important that we are able to provide them with an engaging introduction to the community,” Plumley said in a direct message. “Things are odd and not always fun right now, but I would like to think events like Drag Bingo and Murder Mystery night make everyone's lives a little better as they wait to come to campus!”

If students are looking for a game night with adventure, there will be a Hollywood murder mystery via Zoom Monday at 7 p.m. Alden is hosting a digital scavenger hunt on Tuesday where students can familiarize themselves with the library’s setup while solving clues and completing a scavenger hunt. Those who complete the scavenger hunt will receive a gift and ten randomly chosen people will receive a $25 gift card.

For those artistically talented, Evan Struck, a speed painter, will create paintings virtually at 7 p.m., on Monday and students will have the opportunity to win paintings that Struck will mail to their homes. There will also be a digital caricaturist at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Guests can be brought into the caricature room 5-20 at a time to have their drawing done; each drawing takes about seven minutes. The artwork is printable and post-able. The JPG files will be stored in a party-exclusive Dropbox and immediately available for download.

Daniel Martin is a well-known magician who has been seen on or consulted for shows like Now You See It and Netflix’s Magic for Humans. Martin will perform and teach magic with his Magic Night In event on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Jewish students also have multiple opportunities to get involved. Hillel is hosting Pickling 101 at 4 p.m. on Wednesday where students can learn about the Jewish history of pickling while making their own pickles. Students can follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Hillel is also hosting “Jewpardy,” where students can test their Jewish trivia at 8 p.m on Monday with Jeopardy. Each member of the winning team gets a $5 Amazon gift card. There will be a welcome back Shabbat service at 6 p.m. on Friday. Shabbat to-go boxes will be available for any students in Athens and people can register for the service here.

For students looking for more social justice events, the Women’s Center is putting on an art exhibit called “In This Space: Disrupted” on Tuesday. According to the event description, the exhibit “focuses on geographies of space and violence. Like many rape myths, the process of associating certain locations (or people) with violence can otherize victims and survivors whose experiences do not match with the public narrative.” Apps like Hollaback! and harassmap have been crucial in naming public locations in which harassment occurs. For more information, visit the Women’s Center’s page on the OU website. 

The Women’s Center is also hosting International Women's Coffee Hour, an open discussion about the start of the academic year, at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. 

The LGBT Center is hosting Over the Rainbow on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The event is for students to learn about the center, meet staff and get involved with other LGBTQ+ organizations on campus. 

For students looking for slam poetry, Ebony Stewart will talk about mental health, healthy relationships, dating, sexual health and body image all through poetry.

For more information about any of these Welcome Week events, visit the Welcome Week section of the OU website.