Fall semester packed with community-building opportunities for students

Organizations across Elon’s campus have lots of plans in place for spending time out of the classroom.

Students want to know: “Is campus going to be boring this fall?” The answer is: “Nope — not at all.”

The start of Elon’s 2020-21 academic year is certainly unique, and there are many new, important protocols regarding how to be safe in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be anything fun to do. Keeping campus safety in mind, staff in offices like the Kernodle Center for Civic Life and the Gender and LGBTQIA Center have been busy throughout the summer, planning opportunities for students to connect and pursue their interests outside of coursework and academics.

From fireside s’mores to a social distanced Rosh Hashanah luncheon, here are some of the activities awaiting students once classes begin on Aug. 19.

Campus Recreation & Wellness

Campus Recreation & Wellness is taking steps to adapt its facilities and programming to help ensure health and safety while continuing to offer exercise, sports and fitness options for the campus community.

That includes changing the use of some spaces. For instance, Jordan Gym will not be used for pick-up basketball games or other team or contact sports, but will be used for group exercise classes and other university events. Similarly, the racquetball/squash courts in Koury Center have been repurposed as decompressed fitness spaces.

Here’s a look at what spaces will be available and when this fall.

Facilities now open:

  • Driving range

Facilities that will be open once North Carolina concludes to Phase 2 of reopening, all with enhanced cleaning protocols and some with changes in capacity and offerings:

  • Koury Center
  • PARC Fitness Center
  • South Gym

Facilities not opening in fall:

  • Beck Pool
  • The Station at Mill Point pool
  • Locker room shower and changing areas

Available programming (dependent upon public health guidelines and requirements):

  • Intramural sports, focusing on smaller, non-contact sports in the fall semester
  • Club sports, with modified practices when necessary to ensure physical distancing
  • Group exercise classes, with decreased capacity and/or taught in large or outdoor spaces
  • Weekend outdoor adventure trips through Elon Outdoors
  • S’mores with Elon Outdoors every Wednesday at 9 p.m.
  • Personal training
  • Elon Challenge ropes course open for group and team development
  • Programs and resources for substance education, sexual and relationship health and mental health
  • Collegiate Recovery Community offers peer-to-peer support for students who engage is a substance-free lifestyle

Residential Neighborhood events (dates to be determined)

  • Pops on the Patio in Colonnades
  • Movies on the Quad in Colonnades
  • Thursday Night Treats in the East Neighborhood
  • Tuesday Treats in Global
  • Book club gatherings in Oaks
  • Presidential Debate watch parties
  • Virtual events to talk about current issues in society

Political engagement and Elon Votes!

  • Socially distant presidential debate watch events: Sept. 29, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, and vice presidential debate on Oct. 7
  • Election Day shuttles from campus to two local polling places: Nov. 3
  • Election Night Watch Event: Nov. 3 in the Great Hall

The Elon Votes! website provides comprehensive, up-to-date information on topics like how to register to vote, request an absentee ballot or find a polling place.

Student organizations and activities

  • Virtual Fall Organization Fair: Aug. 21, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Late Night Elon programming:

  • Rotating Thursday night series, including trivia, bingo and coffee house events
  • Weekly movie series every Friday and Saturday night
  • DIY craft kits that can be completed each weekend either individually or in small groups
  • Drive-in outdoor movie in designated parking area on campus
  • Virtual painting classes – Punch n’ Paint
  • Pumpkin carving competition

PhoenixCONNECT offers a full list of upcoming campus events and opportunities to build community

Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE)

  • SMART Week: week of Aug. 31

Week of events for incoming students who identify as African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan Native and/or Multiracial (ALANAM) to meet upper-level students for mentorship connections

  • Café Con Leche (town hall designed for Latinx/Hispanic Students): Sept. 1
  • Food For Thought (town hall designed for Asian & Pacific Islander Students): Sept. 2
  • Native Town Hall (designed for Native American/Indigenous Students): Sept. 7
  • Black Table Talk (town hall designed for Black/African American students):
    Sept. 9
  • Check All That Apply (town hall designed for Multiracial, Multi-ethnic, and Transracial adoptees): Sept. 10
  • Hispanic Heritage Month: mid-Sept.-mid-Oct.
  • Social justice-oriented book club, facilitated by CREDE Student Coordinators
  • Sisterhood Circle for women of color monthly hybrid meetings
  • Men of Distinction for men of color monthly hybrid meetings

Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life

  • Rosh Hashanah: Sept. 18-20
    • Virtual and in-person services and a luncheon on Sept. 19
  • Yom Kippur: Sept. 27-28
    • Virtual services and a Break Fast socially distanced meal on Sept. 28
  • Festival of Holidays Lights: Nov. 12

Events with details to be determined:

  • Weekly prayer and worship opportunities for Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim students
  • Weekly sitting meditation in the Rinzai Zen tradition
  • Virtual weekly Numen Lumen programming, with stories, reflections and music from members of our campus community
  • Interfaith dinner conversations hosted by chaplains and our interfaith interns
  • Intersection of faith and sexuality events hosted by Spirit and Pride student interns

Kernodle Center for Civic Life

  • Rise Against Hunger: Sept. 5

Service opportunities in Alamance County:

  • Habitat for Humanity house builds
  • Benevolence Farm, Peacehaven Farm and Kopper Top Life Learning Center offer service in gardens and with farm animals
  • Virtual and limited in-person, after-school programs at Boys and Girls Club, Burlington Housing Authority and Positive Attitude Youth Center
  • Collaboration with Belk Library and the School of Education for remote tutoring and recorded instructional and storytime videos
  • Virtual visits with seniors at Blakey Hall and Twin Lakes
  • Virtual connections with Alamance Community College special needs students via Elon Buddies

Gender and LGBTQIA Center events

  • Virtual Dragstravaganza: Sept. 25
  • Consensual Cupcakes: Sept. 29
  • National Coming Out Week: Oct. 12-16
  • Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil: Nov. 18

Check the center’s Facebook and newsletter sites to get additional information.