Events planned by the Student Activities Board this year will look different from past years because of COVID-19 restrictions.
This semester’s SAB events will have less students in attendance in order to allow attendees to remain six feet apart. All students must wear masks while at SAB events, and materials used by multiple students must be sanitized in between each use.
Madeline Hensley, vice president and risk manager of SAB, said the board has had to adjust its planning schedule for this semester.
“We usually start planning fall events in the spring, but because of the shutdown our timeline was pushed back,” Hensley said. “We waited more for university guidance [and] once they came out with their plans, we then were able to build off that.”
SAB President Josh Jay said this semester’s maximum capacity for events is 250 students, and SAB will have to make some changes to the way it holds its activities.
He said some activities would be easier to restructure than others, and gave the example of livestreaming a speaker to other areas. He also said they’re hoping some of the restrictions will loosen up by spring so there will be a more normal course of events.
So far this semester SAB has held five events, two during Truman week — a trivia night and a talent show— the Back-to-School Bash, canvas painting and a movie night.
Ashley Atkinson, head of the SAB productions committee, said SAB focused on points of contact and spacing out people and stations at events so far. She also said SAB made a workers’ guide so SAB members would know what each member was responsible for, which ensured nothing was overlooked for the event.
Other measures SAB took include, providing a map of The Quad showing where different sections of the event were, wiping down stations in between uses, ensuring everyone was wearing a mask and requiring students to wear gloves before using any shared materials.
“For me, being the risk manager, the weight of having events like this [is something] I don’t take lightly, so we want to make sure our events are all standardized and we follow all the rules the University gives,” Hensley said.
Hensley said that the SAB Executive Committee made a COVID response document in order to better standardize events and list out what to be aware of and do at each event.
She also said the amount of SAB members required at each event this year has been a lot different than in the past.
“The biggest change for us really has been manpower, usually it takes a committee to plan an event and then three or four workers working the event,” Hensley said. “This semester has turned into 10 to 12 and 13 workers needed for an event just because there’s so many new positions at events that we need, like sanitizing things takes a lot of people and then doing waivers at events.”
Atkinson said SAB has been focusing on maintaining the fun parts of events while still maintaining precautions.
“We’ve heard from freshmen that it’s a lot harder to make friends this year,” Hensley said. “We’re trying to give them an environment where they can be safe and practice social distancing but also meet new people and do fun things. And that goes for all ages of students too, the last six months’ gap of socializing, we want to try to provide safe ways to socialize with others.”
Jay said he still thinks SAB can serve an important role to students. He said SAB always tries to connect students on campus, which is more relevant now than ever.