WYOMISSING, Pa. — While many Penn State Berks students will be learning remotely this fall, they will still be able to engage in campus life through a series of virtual programs. These programs aim to foster a sense of community and engagement with students scattered far and wide. All programs are free and all Penn State Berks students are invited to participate. The events are limited to the student attendees.
The Campus Activity Board (CAB), a student organization that selects and schedules campus programming, will hold most of its events virtually this year. Students will be required to sign-up in advance and then they will receive an email with the private Zoom web address for the event.
When asked how this programming will differ from the usual campus life programming, Edith Konneh, a sophomore and chair of CAB’s creative programming committee, stated, "My biggest concern with virtual programming was getting people to attend and engage with others through Zoom. During the past week, CAB hosted a few virtual events I noticed that students were talking and laughing with each other. Virtual events are what you make of them.”
A new CAB web page provides more in-depth information about the organization and its programs, including the purpose of CAB, introduction to the executive board members, a place for students to sign-up for upcoming events, and a link to the CAB store. In addition, the Office of Campus Life will advertise events through its weekly email to students titled “This Week at Berks,” and events will also be posted on the Penn State Go app and the Campus Calendar on the college’s website.
Virtual programming will kick off with a Community Weekend for all Penn State Berks students from Saturday, Aug. 29, to Tuesday, Sept. 1. It will include the following events:
—CAB Virtual Escape Room, Saturday, Aug. 29 – Tuesday, Sept. 1, midnight.
—Tik Tok Challenge: Three different challenges will be held: one will involve a Welcome Weekend mashup song. All three competitions will be open until Friday, Sept. 4, to give all students an opportunity to participate. Winners will receive prizes. Additional information will be posted on the @berkswelcomeleaders Instagram site.
—Games with Penn State Berks Alumni, Saturday, Aug. 29, 4–5 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 30, noon–1 p.m., Students will have an opportunity to play virtual games with Berks alumni, as well as an opportunity to ask questions about their experiences, tips and tricks, and what they did with their free time.
Upcoming events for August and September are listed below.
- CAB Mixer (virtual) on Monday, Aug. 31, at 9 p.m.
- Penn State Pride Bingo (virtual) on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 8 p.m.
- Bingeable TV Kahoot Trivia (virtual) on Friday, Sept. 4, at 8 p.m.
- Scattergories (virtual) on Saturday Sept. 5, at noon
- Pinterest Zoom Party (virtual) on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m.
- Mind Reading and Illusion Show by Wayne Hoffman (virtual) on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m.
- Amazing Race (in person event), Perkins Student Center Lawn, Saturday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m.
- Zoom Tunes Caricatures (virtual), Monday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
- Wild ‘n’ Out Comedy Show featuring Nate Jackson and Burpie (virtual), Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m.
- Sunset Cinema in Perkins featuring the movie Step Brothers (in person event), Perkins Student Center Lawn (Perkins Auditorium if raining), Thursday, Sept. 17, at 8:30 p.m.
- Crazy Bob Trivia (virtual), Friday, Sept. 17, at 8:30 p.m.
- Kan Jam Tournament (in person event – all participants receive a free frisbee), Perkins Student Center Lawn, on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m.
- Pinterest Zoom Party (virtual) on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m.
“This virtual programming is different because we are trying to find ways to offer activities for students to do during their leisure time,” explained Felicia Nelson, student activities coordinator. “We are doing our best to be creative!”
The experience of transitioning to remote learning has been difficult for students in many ways, but the shift to virtual programming has created even more opportunities than usual for students to have their voices heard as the programs are developed.
Nelson added that the Office of Campus Life is interested in hearing from the students. “If students have any ideas or suggestions for programs they would like us to incorporate, they are more than welcome to contact me by email at FNN3@psu.edu, or check “This Week at Berks” emails for the upcoming CAB meeting.”
Students can also connect with Penn State Berks and its various campus life and student organizations on the following channels:
“While I miss seeing these amazing students, I look forward to offering a variety of virtual programs and activities for them to occupy their time outside of the classroom,” stated Nelson.