USD’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) is striving to create a community on campus amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. CAB events are a staple of the welcome week experience at USD, but CAB is looking to redefine events and programs around campus.
Kate Solberg, president of CAB and junior marketing and management major, said last semester shaped how the executive board approached this fall.
“When we went home, one of the big tasks was what are we going to do when all the students are at home and how are we going to continue to create community,” Solberg said.
With the new safety precautions around campus, CAB worked to create a distinct feel at every one of their events.
“The biggest aspect of our events is that we want to be safe and socially distanced, but still create a community with the students,” Solberg said.
Community is the name of the game for CAB. Kara Olson, Coordinator for Student Programs and Activities and advisor to CAB. Olson said the students of CAB are enthusiastic to continue giving students positive experiences at CAB events.
“One of the things that I love about my CAB students is that they are extremely driven to create community,” Olson said, “And they are conscious of all the safety factors this semester.”
One of the biggest challenges for CAB is that they have to be flexible with the changing times.
“All of the events are relying on what happens on campus based on the situation we are in,” Solberg said, “We are focusing on creating programs that can be taken home or shipped out to students.”
With events that are held on campus, the CAB executive board members are thinking of new ways to deliver the same event experience to students.
“We had to get creative as to what we would define as a program and adapt that to what is safe for students,” Olson said.
Last week, CAB held their annual Build-A-Buddy where students make their own stuffed animal.
This year, students were handed their materials directly from CAB members and were encouraged to take their buddy home, instead of staying in the MUC.
Every year, one of CAB’s biggest event is the Dakota Days Concert according to Solberg. This year, CAB is still trying to find ways to still give students a concert while staying safe.
“If we can have a concert, it will most likely be in the spring,” Olson said, “Right now, no one is going to want to stand six feet away because it takes away from the experience.”
Along with many aspects of the college experience, this semester presents challenges of no precedence said Solberg.
“It is super frustrating knowing that any event can be changed at any moment,” Solberg said, “But with that said, we have to be flexible and accept changes as they come.”
Another way CAB is continuing events this year is by taking advantage of the green spaces across campus, Olson said.
“We want to be able to encourage social distancing and by going outside, there is no restriction to our space,” Olson said.
Currently, CAB has plans to continue with events such as make your own mask and picnics over Labor Day Weekend, but, Olson said, all the events must be flexible.
“Right now, we can’t be confident in how COVID-19 is going to affect their events and we are going off of what we know is best practices for college campuses,” Olson said.
As the semester continues to move forward,
“It is going to be a fun year even though it’s going to be different. We are going to build community no matter what happens,” Solberg said.
To learn more about upcoming CAB events, visit their Facebook page.