Samantha Ewing ’23 (She/Her), Staff Writer
After a year of heavy COVID restrictions, Davidson students arrived on campus this fall with hopes of returning to a sense of normalcy. From sitting outdoors without a mask, to attending parties at F, students eagerly anticipated lighter restrictions. Though campus has not completely returned to its pre-pandemic state, many elements of social life at Davidson have returned.
After two weeks of the semester had passed, Armfield Courtyard returned as a space for open consumption. Dean Shaffer elaborated on the decision process behind the initial closure.
“It was closed as part of the COVID-related restrictions that we were using across all of campus, as we reopened and tried to manage risk for the community,” Shaffer said.
The administration was faced with concerns related to COVID spread as many people traveled long distances to return in August. “When the school year started and everyone moved in, folks were coming from all over the place with really different COVID rates,” Shaffer commented.
Thankfully, after the first two weeks of class, COVID rates on campus decreased.
“We started having new useful information about our COVID risk, and we got past one of the highest risk periods of time” Shaffer said. “We predictably saw a decrease in our spread and a decrease in our infection rates because folks were not traveling anymore.”
The administration was also tasked with considering liabilities outside of COVID once they decided to reopen the Armfield Courtyard.
“It played a role in the questions we were asking before COVID around how [do] we create a safe and healthy environment for students” Shaffer said.
Shaffer also mentioned the administration’s wishes to “properly balance students’ ability to socialize and self-govern” with “the risk level particularly around alcohol and some of the secondary impacts of high-risk drinking.”
Meanwhile, Director of Student Activities Mike Goode discussed the current approval process for social events and activities on campus. Updated restrictions on social events can be found on the page, Event Horizons on Wildcat Sync.
Formerly, the process to get campus events approved was tedious, involving meetings with several different offices across campus. Now however, the approval process has been compiled into one platform where students can submit their forms on WildcatSync (WCS).
“Generally, the WCS event submission process is the place that we sort of interact across the board with organizations that are putting on events,” Goode said.
Students are encouraged to plan ahead and submit their forms early, as it will increase the likelihood of their plans coming to fruition. “You really have to get your event submitted two weeks in advance because there’s likely to be stuff that we have to check out,” Goode commented.
Patterson Court Council President Grace Hall ’22 has been working towards planning a collaborative Fall Festival with the target date on October 23rd. Hall has been in conversation with SGA, the BSC, and Union Board about how to safely provide this new social opportunity for the student body.
“The goal is to bring together the student body as best we can,” Hall said. She expressed her hope that the festival would provide an opportunity for students to come together and meet new people.
Additionally, Hall mentioned her vision that food trucks and lawn games will be included at the festival. However, all of the planning is fluid as new challenges arise. “COVID is still real, and we are still having to plan our events with continuously changing policies,” Hall said.
Students can also look forward to returning social opportunities with Summit Coffee Outpost (Nummit).
Since everyone moved back to campus, Nummit had been hosting trivia nights at 8:30p.m. on Wednesdays. In addition to these events, Late Night came back to the Outpost last week to serve quesadillas after hours.
According to Nummit Manager Maddy Wolfenbarger Late Night is “a late night food option, so it’s open 11pm-2am Friday nights and Saturday nights.”
In terms of hosting events, Nummit has yet to run into any