Challenged by fast-paced changes in the university’s policies, school clubs are working to overcome short-staffing issues, as well as COVID regulations, as they plan events.
On Friday, Oct. 22, the campus art journal, Lingua, and the campus radio station, KSPU, held a collaborative launch party in Eaton Hall welcoming all students from Seattle Pacific University who were interested in art, literature, and music.
This was one of the first in-person club events held this year. With restrictions loosening, students are able to gather together in person and connect with each other face-to-face.
Fourth-year journalism and computer science major, Kate Erickson, serves as the manager for KSPU. Erickson felt that the vaccination requirement on campus ensured that the event would be safe for students.
“Most people are already vaccinated if they go to this school,” Erickson said. “So that’s not something we had to worry about.”
Second-year marketing major and KSPU event coordinator Sage Driscoll explained that masks were required at the event, although the live performers were allowed to be unmasked while they sang. Social distancing was also encouraged, all the provided food was pre-packaged and hand sanitizers were available at every table.
While planning the event, the groups experienced a roadblock due to short-staffing on campus. Many of the facilities on campus are currently lacking employees, which led to a delay in administration’s response time.
Second-year art history major and Lingua event coordinator Macs Herdrich recalled the effects the staffing shortages had on the event planning process.
“We were told right on the offset that it was going to be hard to plan events this year because the whole campus is understaffed, and that proved to be true,” Herdrich said.
Fourth-year French and visual communications major and Lingua editor Claire Conway mentioned that the Lingua team does not have much experience. This added to the difficulties of the planning process.
“It [is] all our first year on the team, so none of us knew how to plan a Lingua event. We just kind of learn as we go,” Conway said.
Understaffing is not the only problem SPU’s campus is facing right now. The COVID policies on campus are obstacles when it comes to planning events.
“We kind of had to make plans, and then cross our fingers that they didn’t get cancelled for COVID reasons,” Herdrich said.
In fact, the launch party was originally intended to be held in a different location. Unfortunately, not all locations on campus are available for student social events.
“[Eaton hall] wasn’t our first choice. We wanted to do it at the art center because Lingua has had an event at the art center in the past,” Conway said. “With the university’s COVID policies, some places are available, some are not. So this is the place that we’re able to get to.”
However, even with all of the obstacles, the students were thankful they were able to host an in-person event.
“It’s really exciting to see so many students that want to be involved, and that they’re so excited. It’s also nice to know that it doesn’t have to be perfect,” Erickson said. “We don’t have to have everything perfect or perfectly laid out, people are just excited to see each other,”