By Madison Pena
In addition to remote and hybrid learning changing the way students at the College experience courses, the transition is also altering how organizations such as the College Union Board (CUB) hosts events for students.
CUB is known for organizing popular events on campus, ranging from biannual concerts to moderating discussions with internet sensations. However, the transition to online learning meant that the organization was forced to pivot to virtual events instead of the in-person experiences they were used to creating.
“It was definitely a big jump going virtual, but we all adapted pretty quickly,” said CUB event coordinator and junior journalism major Leigha Stuiso. “It was something I haven’t had experience with so I tried to find something engaging for students.”
Despite an unprecedented switch to hosting virtual events, CUB was able to organize several events that brought students together over Zoom.
One event was a moderated interview with YouTube stars Cody Ko and Noel Miller.
“I was so glad I got to attend that interview,” said junior psychology major Bianca Camano. “I loved it, even though they didn’t answer my question. It still felt like I was close to them, almost like it would have been in person.”
While being virtual was limiting in the kind of events CUB was able to produce, it also opened up opportunities for new experiences and guests.
“I am on the Stud board so I can only speak to planning those events, however, we were able to work with vendors/live acts in different states which was exciting,” Stuiso said.
Many students have been enjoying the virtual events and their accessibility. Having the opportunity to tune in from home or in between classes serves as a break for students.
“They truly went above and beyond what I ever expected,” Camano said. “I couldn’t think of how they would be able to adapt events when we first went online, but looking back I don’t think they could have done anything better.”
Accompanying the change in the format of events this year came a few budget changes as well. According to Stuiso, the budget “reflected going virtual,” meaning that CUB received a smaller budget to host smaller-scale events. For some students, smaller events created a more personal experience that they would not have received in person.
“I got to have my tarot cards read through CUB Alt, and I really liked taking part in something on a smaller scale like that,” Camano said. “I think when we go back, having smaller 10 to 20-person events would be really cool.”
In addition to hosting several virtual events this semester, CUB was also able to integrate several in-person events for students on campus, including Club CUB and a Star Wars themed latenighter.
All in-person events were outdoor with various masked activities that followed CDC safety guidelines.
With a positive reaction from students and a still tentative return to campus, organizations like CUB could continue to implement virtual events.
“I think we will continue a virtual component going forward,” Stuiso said. “It works to reach students who are at home and can’t make it to campus. Since we had an in-person event, there has been a lot of setup and making sure we have signups before the event. We want to have fun and get back to the old CUB, but keep everyone and ourselves safe at the same time.”