27 July 2020

Welcome Week preparations - but how?

Normally, organising the Welcome Week is rather straightforward. We tend not to make huge changes from year to year. And there are centrally organised events we can just sail along with; for instance, there always is a big fair where all clubs and societies present themselves to the freshers. But this year, all will be different! 

Last year we had some 200 freshers. This year it will likely be fewer, but still so many that it will be difficult to do anything with all of them at the same time. Normally there is a beach trip and a pirate night and whatnot. But now? 

It is still not quite clear what we can do indoors. And what we can do outdoors will depend a bit on the weather. And we won’t know about that until we get there! 

It’s inevitable some of the week will have to be digital; I’ve heard the welcome by the Vice-Chancellor will be online, and the clubs and societies fair, and the presentations by bodies like the sustainability unit. It’s unavoidable, but we try to not do a Zoom overload. Sitting in your room in halls staring at a computer screen just doesn’t convey that sense of occasion! Or of social bonding. So we need some of it but whatever we can avoid would be great. 

It’s quite a challenge to sort this stuff out, but it’s important; Welcome Week tends to be quite pivotal in the life of anyone who has gone to university. We should do what we can to make it memorable while still keeping it safe! I’m glad we have in our midst the Peer Guide of the Year 2019-2020. She wouldn’t have won that accolade if she weren’t quite on the ball! So I’m worried about it all, but I would be a lot more worried if we wouldn’t have such stellar people! 

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