Innovative events on campus

STUB and OSIL foster spaces for more friendships, memories

Hailey Echan, Features Editor

Students come together and prepare to start the speed friending event put on by STUB. (Courtesy of Gracie Kavanaugh)

Creative minds came together within the Student Union Board and the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership in order to create events to kick off the school year under the limiting conditions. 

Social gathering limitations proved to be an obstacle when planning events to bring the students of Seattle Pacific University together, but with the help of technology and student participation, these leadership teams were able to pull it off. 

To start off a series of welcome events, STUB hosted a Speed Friending event over Zoom on September 25th in order to create a space for students to get to know one another and meet new people. 

STUB Coordinator Gracie Kavanaugh and her team brainstormed to plan an event that students would want at this time in the quarter. 

“We wanted to do something that would cater to the students’ needs, so we came up with an idea for Speed Friending!” Kavanaugh said over email. 

This event was a collaboration of many ideas and thoughts on the STUB team. 

“I brainstormed with the whole team to come up with a layout of how we wanted the event to run,” Kavanaugh said. “Anneli Johnson chaired this event, so she did a great job bringing everyone’s ideas together to create a fun event!” 

The event was considered to be a success. During a time where students are scattered across the country and not all on campus, this event provided an opportunity for students to get to know their peers in a way that has not been done before. 

“We had around 30 students– it was especially cool to see a wide range of students from on campus to off campus all coming together for the event,” Kavanaugh said. 

One of the many breakout rooms that gave students a chance to get to know each other at the speed friending event. (Courtesy of Gracie Kavanaugh)

For freshman communications major Emma Anaminyi the event was helpful for first time interactions with fellow students she had never met before but that led to an unforeseen obstacle. 

“I enjoyed it, but it was hard because there wasn’t enough time to get people’s information,” Anaminyi said. 

The speed friending event was not the only event SPU leadership planned to bring students together. 

OSIL put together a scavenger hunt that lasted throughout week three, Sept. 28-Oct. 2. Giving students new challenges each day encouraged them to get off campus and engage with one another all while following guidelines and having a fun time.

Senior Lexi Poisel poses as David Bowie’s Alladin Sane abulm cover for the 2020 scavenger hunt. (Courtesy of Lexi Poisel)

Students had the option to participate on their own or work with a team less than 5 in order to complete the challenges. All challenges and goals were to be met while following mask and social distancing guidelines. 

The scavenger hunt created an opportunity for students like junior music research major Lydia Porter to have fun with her housemates in a safe and engaging way. 

“I’ve never done anything like this before, but I knew we would have fun together,” Porter said over email. 

Porter’s team ended up winning the first day prize due to their ambition and readiness for the challenges. 

“We accomplished all the tasks available to us as soon as possible and had the ultimate goal of winning at the end of the week, Friday,” Porter said. “It was a complete surprise that we won the first day, and that there were prizes involved. Our goal was just to do all that we could, and have fun doing it together.”

Megan Nixon, Lydia Porter, and Lexi Poisel (from left to right) take a photo with the Fremont Troll for SPU’s scavenger hunt. (Courtesy of Lexi Poisel)

The challenges are all prompted on the app GooseChase. After challenges are met, prizes are distributed. OSIL has been able to provide bigger and better prizes than ever before. Prizes range from snack packs and free Molly Moons to free coffee and $50 gift cards.

“They gave us a Costco size pack of soda, Trader Joe’s mangoes, jerky, chips, popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels, fruit snacks, goldfish, soup, pumpkin bread mix, granola bars, trail mix, and 2 boxes of different cookies,” Porter said. 

To Porter and her teammates, the prize meant more to them than just a few extra snacks. 

“When they said we won a “snack pack” I was expecting those little bags of chips you bring to kids’ soccer games or something,” Porter said. “All of us were shocked and so grateful. My roommates and I aren’t on a meal plan, so all these free snacks are super helpful and we really appreciated the generosity shown to us.”

Traveling around Seattle and SPU’s campus has proved to be a bonding experience for Porter’s team. Not only did they get the chance to interact with other students and OSIL, but they also got to grow closer as friends. 

“This scavenger hunt has been such a fun experience so far! My roommates and I are already friends, but this has proven to be a great bonding experience for us,” Porter said. “We get to go do fun things and finish little challenges together, and now we have more photos for memories.”