Ohio University’s Division of Student Affairs is slowly bringing back in-person programs, such as a craft night and movie night, for students at Baker Center.
Coronavirus safety measures are in place to ensure the safety of students, and some students are excited for events to be back on campus in a safe environment.
All activities will currently take place in Baker Ballroom. Students will not need to register before they go, but capacity will be limited due to the need for social distancing. All of the events scheduled can be found on the calendar of university events, Jim Sabin, university spokesperson, said.
Activities on campus are limited to 10 people, unless an exception is made by the vice president of the planning unit. All university-run events must comply with social distancing, enforce the wearing of masks and all other university policies that are applicable, according to OU’s website.
“We are doing several things to adapt the engagement events to the current COVID-19 mandates, including limiting capacity to account for at least six feet of social distancing, requiring masks at all times, keeping multiple entrance and exit points to avoid line queuing, and maintaining appropriate signage, announcement, and sanitation,” Dusty Kilgour, executive director of Baker, said in an email.
Two programs being offered as part of a “pilot” for programming were a movie night and craft night. The programs will gauge if OU can begin hosting further in-person activities later on in the semester, Kilgour said.
Students showed major interest in the craft night after having gone to them in the past.
Elizabeth Lilly, a senior studying communication studies, said craft nights were her favorite events hosted by OU in the past. Lilly went almost every week when she was a freshman and tried to go about once a month as a sophomore.
“It’s a really great program to get students connected, and I like that they’re doing it again,” Lilly said. “I feel like it’s one of the very few programs that can be set up to be safe and keep people distanced. I’m actually really excited about it, and I’d like to be able to go to one if they are offered in person.”
When Becca Roth, a senior studying sports management, was an underclassman, her Residence Assistants would make an event out of these programs. Roth said it was a great way to get involved with the other people living in her hall and to just have fun. Programs were also a break from the stresses of college life, Roth said.
Chloe Hendrikse, a sophomore studying environmental and plant biology, went to the craft nights almost every Thursday when they were offered, as long as she didn’t have a lot of homework. She loved going to meet up with her friends for a fun night to be active on campus and is excited for the craft nights to possibly be running for the rest of the semester, she said.
Some students are on campus for the first time this semester and are excited to meet new people and get face-to-face interaction if further events are offered.
The best part of the former programs was being able to hang out with friends in a chill environment without needing to spend any money, Lilly said.
“I think overall it didn’t matter if you were alone or if you had a group of people going with you,” Roth said. “You could just talk to anyone but always make a friend.”