ABIGAIL DENAULT, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER
This year, a continuation of a pandemic year, exists outside of the definition of a “normal” college experience. It is in these times that new traditions are formed and people adapt.
Similar to last academic year, activities, clubs, students, and staff at Wartburg College have adapted yet again to help create a safe and enjoyable college experience.
One club on campus aims to enhance this collective experience. Entertainment ToKnight (ETK) serves the purpose of creating fun events for the campus community. The club is currently under the leadership of third-year student Rachel Green.
“We did a lot of very fluid adjustments. Last year we did a lot of masked events, socially distanced as much as we could, outside as much as we could, and kinda just took the feedback of students on what they want, but also what they need. We provided Entertainment to Quarantine (ETQ) bags so that individuals who couldn’t come to our regular programming of events, we took them bags full of random things like a deck of cards to play with.” Green said.
These inventive ideas are being brought into this year as leaders’ step into positions with the knowledge they have from previous years. ETK already had an outdoor concert on September 2nd by solo vocal artist, Yaniza. The event was held with Covid guidelines and students’ safety in mind. Green keeps students in mind as she and her organization look toward the future.
“We support all mask requirements of the school, and we abide by them. We’re just doing unique programming to meet students where they are at. So, we are still going to be thinking of those individuals who aren’t as comfortable and still have something for them along with the people who are fully vaccinated and feel very safe. We are bringing lots of new thoughts and ideas on like: What can entertainment on Wartburg College look like?” Green, said.
As the group moves into this new year, they encourage students to reach out and let the group know your ideas on what you want to see.
Another form of entertainment at Wartburg this year is sports. Whether participating or watching, sports are a part of the lives of many students at Wartburg. In 2019, over 600 students were involved in sports1.
Ava Howell, a first-year student, is one of those students. She is a member of the Clay Sports Team, now in its second season after being introduced last year. Howell explains her experience this year similarly to what one would expect from sports even prior to the pandemic.
“I honestly don’t think it affects the sport a lot, because like we don’t have to wear masks during our competitions. We do in the buildings, but we don’t have to when we are shooting.”
Overall, as a student and an athlete, she, like other students on campus, has adapted throughout the pandemic to enjoy her sport and remain safe.
“We wear masks in class, so it isn’t horrible,” said Howell.
In the second year of the pandemic, many students have learned that college can be enjoyed regardless of the times. Howell and the rest of her team have their first meeting Saturday, September 11.
For all students, the pandemic is nothing new.
“For me, college is already a big jump in general. So, I was definitely expecting a lot of changes. It’s weird how similarly though, because of coronavirus, aspects of senior year in high school to freshman year in college are, like mask wearing,” said Anders Wolle, a first-year student and member of Castle Singers.
The usual growing pains of entering college are heighted in the current times as simple social tasks often require more time and effort than before. Wolle talked about the new stressors of being a first-year student during a pandemic.
“I found it a little harder to make friends on campus just with like the limitations on how you can interact with each other. In other ways, I don’t think it has. We’ve still been able to have full capacity at the Mensa and being able to eat with people.” Wolle said.
Students have also learned harder on clubs and activities, where many groups have allowed for more interactions.
“Choir has been able to meet back in one room again, so I have been able to make friends through that. The only thing between how it was before Covid and right now is just the masks. So, once those go away, then we will back to normal; being able to just sing and have fun with each other,” Wolle said.
Something that many students are excited about is going back to pre-pandemic activities that were enjoyed by Wartburg College students prior to the pandemic.
“I’m really excited just for big group gatherings again. I think we missed a lot of that just in the past year, no matter where we were at, just being in groups larger than like 10 people. I am excited for all the different things like Outfly and stuff like that this semester,” Wolle said.