Shortly after NC State’s announcement to move all undergraduate classes online Aug. 20, university administration declared students living on campus would be required to move out of residence halls. With several parts of campus shut down and a massively decreased on-campus student population, campus programs for the University Activities Board (UAB) look distinctly different this semester
According to UAB President Bri Murphy, a fourth-year studying genetics, UAB is currently working on transitioning some of their well-known events, such as the campus cinema program, from in-person to virtual attendance to allow all students to have the opportunity to attend.
Events that may have been based upon giveaways or materials handed out by the UAB are being planned for online registration, with necessary materials being mailed to prevent contact.
“Most of [the events] were kind of in that online format, so there hasn't been a ton of changes to what we were hoping to do this fall,” Murphy said. “Like everyone else, we're just trying to learn how to transition and taking into account that we are also students running this. Some of our students had to move off campus and are in the transitioning time, so we’re trying to figure that out, as well as our next steps for the semester.”
While several virtual events for this semester are being planned, others are still uncertain. Pan-Afrikan Week, one of UAB's most prolific events, was canceled last year due to the transition to online classes in the spring 2020 semester, Murphy said. With this semester’s transition to online once again, plans for the week-long event that celebrates Black students, Black culture and the Black experience are tentative.
Black Students Board Chair Destini Morton, a fourth-year studying fashion and textile management, said UAB is currently looking into plans for the semester, which should be fully formed by the end of September or the beginning of October.
“I think a lot of it depends on really what happens this semester and if students do come back in the spring,” Murphy said. “I think, in some ways, it's too early to tell. I mean, ideally, we would love to celebrate the 50th Pan-Afrikan Week in the biggest way that we can, and I think a lot of it does depend on what you're looking like. But hopefully, in an ideal world, you'd probably have an interest in virtual events, just based on [the] kind of trends that we've been seeing.”
Events and programs are not the only sources of change, Murphy explained. Recruitment for the student-led organization usually occurs at the beginning of each semester, but this year, the process is a bit different. UAB is primarily focused on preparing its newest general body members to stay connected and engaged with the organization, despite most interactions being online.
According to Murphy, workshops, meetings and fun activities are encouraged and provide committees within the organization with "the best people that we can give them.”