By Mattison Hansen
There is a change in the air, and everyone feels it. By the end of the first week of classes, students at Flagler College looked like a herd of zombies as they felt the effects of returning to campus and having in-person classes. However, as the semester goes on, life is brought back into Flagler’s students as they’re given a break to the academic mayhem through the reintroduction of the school’s traditions and new events begin.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of things; how we participate in classes, study for exams, and how we overall interact with each other. While individuals go to college to take classes and learn what they need in order to work a successful career, the college experience isn’t complete without engaging in the school’s events.
“[Events] are important because they help students get involved with their school community and get involved with things they originally wouldn’t have gotten involved with,” Madison Clemens, the president of CAB said.
Regulated by Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse, a survey based on the findings of Student Voice revealed that as a group, students are strongly uncertain about their college experiences right now. According to the survey, “friends and social life” was the highest selected option when asked what feature of campus life students miss the most at 73%.
Throughout the years, Flagler’s clubs and organizations have held numerous events which have become a tradition on campus. CAB’s Midnight Breakfast, Phi Alpha Omega’s Bachelor Bid, hall events held by Residence Life and various others were still held last year, though looked different in ways of social interactions and location. On the other hand, events like CAB’s trip to Halloween Horror Night at Universal, the Office of Admission’s Admittance Students Day, and Flagler Night at Sarbez were completely scrapped from the school calendar. This year, all of the traditional events are coming back.
“We’re doing more events than we ever done before,” said Alicia Ramsdell, the student life specialist at Flagler. “All the events you know and love are back. We’re back to the traditional form of our events. Get ready.”
“The events are going to be the same,” Clemens said. “However, they’re going to be more of what students have been asking for.”
In October alone, the school has seen the return and minor changes of numerous traditions. Family Weekend, known for bringing families back together for a few days packed with activities, has been renamed as Saints Weekend, in which families were able to go to minor events on and around campus, such as Phi Alpha Omega’s Family Tea or a coffee tour around St. Augustine. CAB’s trip to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights had its largest group of attendees, where they had to rent out two busses instead of one. CAB’s other October tradition, Midnight Breakfast, is also making modifications by including Flagler’s Paranormal Club.
“If you went to something last year, keep an open mind and try it again this year,” Ramsdell said. “It’s going to be better than the event you went to last year.”
Not only are they bringing back and modifying old traditions, but bringing in new ones as well.
“We’re looking at a lot more themed events,” Ramsdell said, listing off future plans the school has in store for students, such as themed movie nights, a fashion drag show with the Pride of Lions Club, and Destress Day – another Flagler tradition.
“The biggest thing [about events] is just seeing a lot of people there and seeing people having fun,” Clemens said. “I love to see people making new friends, such as people seeing someone off to the side, walking up to them and the idea of making new friends.”
Whether traditions are coming back, re-modified, or being introduced as something completely new, one thing all events have in common is the expectation that students will be able to participate and engage with each other in a new environment.
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