procon event adapts to new safety measures
Sarah Shelton – Contributor
While clubs face challenges planning events with COVID-19 restrictions, Procon continues its events with safety as a provision.
“It’s harder to make events with the social distancing guidelines that are in place,” daytime programmer Sarah Cooney said. “We also realize that not as many students are on campus now.”
Daytime programmer, Ariana Taylor, a sophomore, said that one of the main factors clubs rely on was students already being around where their events are held and deciding to be a part of it.
“People don’t necessarily want to come all the way back to campus for an event and now there are less people living on campus,” Taylor said. “So even if we’re out in the Academic Quad during a time where there would normally be a lot of classes, there’s a lot less traffic.”
Both Cooney and Taylor said that many of the events they plan involve free food, but it is now difficult to do that because of the restrictions that need to be followed and not as many students being present.
“Usually when we have an event our big thing will be, ‘come and get some free food’, but now when we’re looking for a vendor, we can’t just have one come in and bring a big tray of mac and cheese or whatever food, because then people would have to get it themselves,” Taylor said.
One of the free food events ProCon hosts is the Peanut Butter and Jelly Event, which allows students to make sandwiches, but because of the COVID-19 safety guidelines, ProCon needed to change how they run the event.
Taylor said they usually have bags of bread out and different spreads on a table for students to make their own sandwiches; however, now that all food needs to be prepackaged with new COVID-19 rules, so they handed out Uncrustables which are premade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
“We do PB&J every Thursday, and usually we’ll have a line formed, and it runs out pretty fast, but now it’s just very slow because of the lack of students around.” Cooney said.
Psychology major, Jacob Adorno, a sophomore, is one of the many students who used to go to ProCon’s events before COVID-19, but now that his classes are online, he does not attend any on-campus events.
Taylor said they are trying to do digital events for students who are not on campus, but this is new for ProCon.
“I attended some digital events, but they were exclusive to club meetings and peer mentoring,” Adorno said. “The other digital events didn’t appeal to me and I haven’t even touched campus since moving online.”
“We have good events, on campus and virtual, but both of these experiences are different because of these guidelines,” Cooney said.
Connecticut’s Covid-19 website said the current rules for gatherings are 25 people for indoor gatherings and 100 people for outdoor gatherings.
Cooney said because of these rules, they are trying to do all their events virtual or outside, so that somebody does not have to keep track of who comes in and out of the room and it will reduce contact.
Taylor said she hopes that ProCon can still benefit students, even with the changes that had to be made.
“We’re trying to do the same sort of things,” Taylor said. “Just changing it enough to where it’s still safe, so that we don’t have to completely give up what we used to do.”