UIC Student Engagement plans in-person, virtual events

UIC will host a variety of events this fall to keep students engaged — whether they are on campus or joining their peers virtually.

UIC’s annual Weeks of Welcome (WOW), which runs from Aug. 19 to Sept. 10, provides opportunities for students to connect in person and virtually. The event schedule includes open houses, a virtual four-day Involvement Fair, virtual recruitment for Fraternity and Sorority Life, and much more. Students also can download the WOW Guide in the UIC Guides app.

While we are physically distancing to prevent the spread of the virus, we believe it is critical for all students to stay connected socially,” said Fred McCall, associate vice chancellor for student engagement. “We want students to still have a strong sense that they belong at UIC, and faculty and staff are still here to support their experience. We want to create space, including virtual spaces, for these important connections to happen. Although this will be a very different fall semester, we see this as an opportunity to bring student engagement opportunities directly to our UIC students, no matter where they may be across the city and beyond.”

On-campus events will follow state and city guidelines on social distancing and safety measures related to COVID-19. Most in-person events also will have a virtual component due to capacity limits, McCall said.

“Some of these precautions include limiting event capacity for social distancing, temperature checks at events, requiring event registrations, allowing extra time for cleaning between events, providing and requiring PPE for participants,” McCall said. “Student safety is a top priority as we reopen for the fall.”

Because of COVID-19, UIC’s annual musical festival, Spark, has been canceled. 

“We explored other ways to keep Spark, but it’s just not feasible at this time,” the UIC Center for Student Involvement wrote in a message to students. “Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation.”

Student Leadership and Civic Engagement has partnered with the City of Chicago to identify outdoor service opportunities for students, McCall said. The Commuter Student Resource Center also will be open with limited capacity for students to study, lounge or connect while on campus, he said.  

“Collectively, we have so many programs and events where students can connect, learn, lead, serve and have fun,” McCall said.

The Center for Student Involvement also has created an Involvement Calculator to help students identify opportunities for engagement based on their interests.

Since classes moved online in the spring, the Center for Student Involvement, Student Activities Board and Student Leadership & Civic Engagement continued to engage students through virtual events, including scavenger hunts, virtual escape rooms, cooking and art classes, and more.

“Considering our global circumstances, the student participation was strong,” said Joy Vergara, executive director of the Center for Student Involvement. “Our campus partners and vendors rallied together to give our students the best virtual experience possible. We will continue this effort in the fall semester.”

For more information on UIC events, visit connect.uic.edu

Save the dates for fall 2020 events

Aug. 21: Weeks of Welcome Service Project
Aug. 21: Commuter Dash
Aug. 23: Flames Flix: Movie on the Lawn
Aug. 23: New Student Convocation
Sept. 1-4: Involvement Fair
Sept. 3: SAB presents Flames Showcase       
Sept. 9: Meet the Greeks
Sept. 9: SAB presents Paint and Sip on the Lawn
Sept. 9: InterFaith Meet and Greet
Sept. 10: SAB presents Flames Showcase
Sept. 12: Get Involved with Volunteer Experiences (G.I.V.E.)
Sept. 14: Make Mondays Matter begins
Sept. 14: Interfraternity Council (IFC) Fall Recruitment Begins
Sept. 16: Constitution Day
Sept. 17: SAB presents Flames Showcase
Sept. 18: LeadershipUIC
Sept. 18: SAB presents Poetry Slam
Sept. 22: National Voter Registration Day
Sept. 24: Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) Primary Recruitment Begins
Sept. 24: SAB presents Flames Showcase
Sept. 27: Family Weekend
Sept. 30: Presidential Candidate Debate Viewing Party
Oct. 1: SAB presents UIC Fall Fest
Oct. 8: Vice Presidential Candidate Debate Viewing Party
Oct. 16: National Student Issues Convention
Oct. 16: Presidential Candidate Debate Viewing Party
Oct. 17: Fall Leadership Conference
Oct. 22: SAB presents Flames Spooky Flix
Oct. 22: InterFaith Faith & Politics Panel
Oct. 23: Presidential Candidate Debate Viewing Party
Oct. 28: Early Voting (City of Chicago Residents only) begins
Oct. 28: Party at the Polls begins
Nov. 20: SAB presents An Evening with
Nov. 30: Flames Finish Strong begins
Nov. 30: Forever Flames begins
Dec. 7: Late Night Breakfast

Dates and events are subject to change. Check UIC Connection for event details and updates.

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