UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — B15 … B3 … B11 … I17 … G60 … O62 … 067 … O70 — BINGO!
The sounds of people clapping and cheering aren’t something normally associated with students residing in quarantine and isolation, but a new Thursday night tradition is starting to take root to help Penn State students through their quarantine and isolation time at the University Park campus.
“We didn’t want to just host a game — we wanted to do something that was fun, enjoyable and surprising,” said Lee Kump, the John Leone Dean in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Kump, along with his wife Michelle, pitched Housing and Food Services and Residential Life, the offices that manage the quarantine and isolation space at Eastview Terrace, the idea of doing a bingo night via Zoom to support students in quarantine and isolation.
With a green light, the couple went to work, enlisting a few University leaders to serve as celebrity guest callers, including Penn State President Eric Barron, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour and Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims.
“Students were really getting into it through the chat,” Lee said. “The chat kept expanding and expanding. They were cheering for their building or their floor. They were teasing Sandy or even President Barron in some cases. It was lighthearted and a break from the mundane.”
Accompany the guest callers were a bevy of prizes for the participants. During their time volunteering to shuttle food, medicine and packages to students in quarantine and isolation, the Kumps noted which local eateries were most popular among the students and asked them for donations. Food vendors including Chipotle, Fiddlehead, Home D Pizzeria, Honeybaked Ham, Panda Express and Panera Bread provided gift cards that were used as prizes.
Michelle said, “Sandy brought in a football that was signed by Coach [James] Franklin for her bingo — that was the prize — and it was a surprise. The students went wild.”
Lee said, “There was a lot in the chatroom — ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’ They were really intent on that game.”
It was a Nelson Hall resident who held the lucky combination of B15, B3, B11, I17, G60, O62, O67, O70 that ultimately netted him the much-coveted signed football.