Let’s make a deal: game show
Ethan Sabetta – Contributor
On Monday, August 30, students excitedly filled the ballroom of the Adanti Student Center to attend the night’s Let’s Make a Deal event, as Southern’s Week of Welcome continued with much enthusiasm.
The event, hosted by Southern’s Office of Student Involvement, was inspired by the well-known television game show Let’s Make a Deal, in which audience members are randomly selected to confront a series of “deals”. The Week of Welcome event followed virtually the same format, as students were selected through a variety of means to choose between risky unknown prizes–which could range from nothing to a 40” flat screen TV and everything in between–or less valuable guaranteed prizes.
Despite the apparent success of the event, there were several obstacles in the process of bringing it to life that made the Office of Student Involvement’s job much more difficult. In particular, COVID-19 posed a unique problem for organizing.
“We had to continuously think about capacities, tracking attendance, creating safe and fun opportunities for students, and how to get them engaged in a very safe way,” said Daphne Alston, assistant director for the Office of Student Involvement, and the evening’s host.
Looking at the many students in attendance on Monday night, it would be difficult to imagine the challenges coordinators faced in encouraging student turnout. However, the Office of Student Involvement had their work cut out for them in convincing students to attend Let’s Make a Deal.
“I think people are still figuring out what’s safe, what’s okay. They’re honestly still trying to assimilate to being around people,” Alston said. “I think slowly but surely people will start getting into the groove.”
To explain the success of the night’s turnout despite these challenges, Alston was quick to point to the Office of Student Involvement’s interns. “I think our graduate interns have really stepped up our social media account and presence, so really connecting people through social media. We’ve never been at this level, and it’s really all thanks to our interns,” she said.
For some students in attendance, COVID-19 procedures went mostly unnoticed. “We just had to sit one seat apart,” said nursing major Jessica Palumbo, a sophomore. and one of the night’s winners. When asked if she would be willing to attend any future events hosted during the Week of Welcome and beyond, Palumbo was quick to respond, “of course.”
But for those students who are reluctant to attend events such as Monday’s Let’s Make a Deal, Lexi Bucci–a graduate intern with the Office of Student Involvement–had advice.
“I would say not to be scared, everyone’s very welcoming coming back to campus… it’s a great opportunity to get to know more people and get out of your comfort zone,” she said.
“You don’t expect to have a good time cause it’s a school event, but you really do have a good time,” Palumbo said. “You just gotta get out there, honestly. It’s really fun.”
As for the upcoming schedule of events which students can attend during the Week of Welcome and beyond, Chelsey Cerrato–another graduate intern with the Office of Student Involvement–provided a rundown. “Trivia, just a whole lot more game shows, and then I would also say we like to come up with some new things that students haven’t heard of. Very mysterious challenges.”
Despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic and associated protocols, the Office of Student Involvement is determined not to let it put a halt in their plans to create an exciting and engaging environment for Southern’s students.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring back our traditions in a safe way,” Alston said, “and I think we’ve been doing that.”