Students outside near the Oreo.

This past weekend’s Wonder-Fall activities were set in motion without flaw, despite the messy weather on Friday. The rain did not put a damper on the plans for the evening, as hayrides still went around campus. In addition to the rides, many students were outside enjoying cornhole games, alongside the firepits spread across the campus green.  The night’s brisk weather and the leaves covering the grass gave the night a fall feeling, accompanied by lights hanging from trees and the glow of the firepits in the night sky.

Continuing with some of the themes of Wonder-Fall from the previous weekend, there was a line of food trucks offered on Friday night for the students to enjoy. Choices ranged from Bake n’ Bacon and Munchie Mania to Donut NV and Scoops & Smiles, offering students a choice between hot donuts and cider or cold ice cream.

Saturday was a similar evening with music, firepits and yard games.  Another successful weekend of bringing students together was put together by the Community First Committee, which has been working hard to organize these activities for campus.

Katie Fischer, the Director of Executive and Trustee Communication, along with her colleagues, Erin Buckley (Executive Assistant to the President) and Christine Quisenberry (Director of Presidential Initiatives and Events) described the process of organizing these amazing events and their experiences during the process.

The Community First Committee’s main objective is to discuss the semester and find ways to engage the students.

“The idea [for Wonder-Fall weekend] came out in one the meetings based on some of the events and activities taking place at one of our peer institutions,” Fischer said.

The committee also wanted to reward the students of the University for their dedication to prioritizing The CARITAS Committment and following COVID-19 guidelineS.  

“The concept of Wonder-Fall really came from that idea of doing something to show our appreciation for how impressed we are with the students and well this semester has gone,” Fischer said.

Fischer and her colleagues recalled the recent rise in cases the University had a few weeks ago and saw it as a sign that, as Fischer said, “In addition to keeping the students engaged with following the safety guidelines in place, we recognized that we also need to provide fun, safe on-campus alternatives to students hosting parties.”  

Fischer also touched on the perspective of the staff watching how Wonder-Fall turned out and seeing the students experience the event.  The staff of the Community First Committee’s favorite part of the weekend was “watching the students engage with one another with no computers and phones in front of them; there were no digital distraction. It was all about their friends and being part of a community.”