UVSS Campus Kick-Off provides a mixture of online and in-person entertainment

Campus News

Favourites Bands on the Roof and Movie Night joined by new Instagram challenges and e-sports tournament

Sarina de Havelyn tabling at Campus Kick Off
Director of Outreach Sarina de Havelyn tabling at Campus Kick-Off. Photo provided.

Under normal circumstances, the first few days of school would see the student union building (SUB) and surrounding lawns filled with students enjoying the booths set up by local businesses and UVic clubs. The annual Bands on the Roof concert would feature performances on the roof of the SUB. But this year isn’t like most years. 

“There were quite a few differences compared to previous years,” Sebastian Franco-Monroy, the UVSS’s director of events, told the Martlet. “We felt certain things weren’t reasonable given the circumstances and today’s climate. So that obviously created some challenges in terms of planning and facilitating the event.”

With COVID-19 safety protocols still in place and most classes happening online, the number of students on campus has been greatly reduced. The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) has had to change some of their activities and move others online in what was a greatly reduced Campus Kick Off.

Gone were the club booths and food trucks. Gone was the noise of first-years excitedly ambling around and exploring what their new university has to offer. While Bands on the Roof still took place, headed by the ever-popular Shepard, only a few students could be seen milling about.

While it may have appeared that Campus Kick Off was not happening, there were many ways students could engage in opening-week festivities virtually.

For example, while only a few students were present at the live Bands on the Roof performances, many others listened in to the UVSS’s Facebook page where all performances were live streamed, albeit with some intermittent technical difficulties.

There were also daily Instagram challenges through which students had the opportunity to win prizes — courtesy of Red Bull — such as backpacks, pencil cases, and bags. Grand prize winners will be given a gift card of their choice which can be picked up in person or mailed out to the student’s home address.

As for the annual Campus Kick Off movie night, instead of being hosted in the Quad, it took place in Cinecenta with students having to pre-reserve tickets and the capacity limit set at 50. 

Franco-Monroy says that there was some confusion about how the ticket process worked, and that they only ended up with about half of those who reserved tickets showing up to watch the feature: LEGO Batman.

Other events included a trivia night, which was the result of a partnership between the UVSS, Felicita’s, and IQ 2000, a trivia-hosting company. Franco-Monroy says that 100 people signed up to compete in teams of four to six. There was also an e-sports tournament put on in collaboration with Vikes Nation.

Franco-Monroy says that while he thinks this year’s modified Campus Kick Off was successful overall, it definitely presented a learning curve and opened his eyes to how events should be run moving forward.

Other events coming up include the launch of the Learning Allyship and Solidarity Book Club on Sept. 16 and Sexualized Violence Awareness Week from Sept. 21-25. Further information about these events and more UVSS events can be found on the UVSS website.