Keeping spirits high, especially in a global pandemic, is a mighty task.
The Edinboro University Programming Board (UPB) has taken this task head-on, with a semester full of virtual programming.
UPB's mission is to provide students with a variety of activities to make their time at Edinboro the best experience possible.
“Our goal is mainly to get students to interact with one another and be involved on campus outside of academics,” explained Edinboro student Eleanor Thorpe, president of UPB. “The college experience is about so much more than classes and grades; it is also about getting involved and meeting your forever people.”
UPB offers events such as comedians, magicians, musicians, movies, open mic nights and more. Once a year, they also sponsor day trips to New York City and Washington D.C., as well as book an artist for a spring concert.
Some of these events are not possible due to COVID-19 guidelines, but the UPB is making the best of the situation.
“All our events did have to be virtual this year, but we are having some success with them,” Thorpe said. “We definitely have less people attending virtually than we would in-person, but we have been having at least a small group of students attending every event.”
One of the events hardest hit by the pandemic is Edinboro’s annual Homecoming, which usually yields a large influx of visitors to Edinboro. However, UPB was there to host a Homecoming Pregame on Friday, Oct. 2, as well as the King and Queen Coronation on Saturday, Oct. 3.
“Those were the only events that students were able to physically log onto and enjoy, and coronation was also saved to our YouTube channel so that people can go back and rewatch the ceremony any time,” Thorpe said.
UPB’s event planning is not exclusive to Homecoming. The semester has been filled with virtual opportunities to connect and have fun, including bingo, gaming tournaments and a murder mystery event
“We have hosted Yoga every Tuesday, trivia every other Thursday night and other events throughout the semester,” said Thorpe, who remains optimistic about spring 2021 programming. “While they have been semi-successful, we are excited to be able to offer some more in-person hybrid events in the spring.”
UPB held several events throughout October and early November to keep student engagement and spirits high through the pandemic. These events include a Halloween DIY decorating instructional video on Instagram Live, Halloween Trivia on Zoom with a chance to win gift cards, a cooking tutorial with Chef Justin from Chartwells and a pumpkin carving/painting virtual gathering on social media.
Although the virtual programming is geared toward students and only students are eligible to win the prizes, Thorpe said all members of the University community are invited to join.
With plenty of fun events to take part in, Edinboro UPB is still there to bring the students together while we are all apart.