Campus Kick-Off returns to in-person format this year

Lifestyle Sports | Lifestyle UVic 101

UVSS excited, nervous about returning to campus for a week of events

Photo by Dave Van, provided by the UVSS.

Every year, the University of Victoria Students Society (UVSS) holds an inaugural series of events at the beginning of September called Campus Kick-Off (CKO). 

Last year, due to  the COVID-19 pandemic, CKO looked very different. The traditional movie in the quad was replaced with a small Cinecenta screening, and Bands on the Roof was streamed on Facebook live.  A few smaller scale events  took place at Felicita’s and prizes were handed out through UVSS Instagram. This year, however, UVic plans to return to an in-person format between Sept.8-10 for CKO.

Three main events are planned for this year’s kick off of the 2021/2022 school year: a pancake breakfast, a movie in the quad, and the return of Bands on the Roof. Other events will take place concurrently with CKO–like Thunderfest and new student orientation–while some will occur shortly thereafter, like the Indigenous student week of welcome. 

Pancake Breakfast

On Sept. 8, there will be a free pancake breakfast taking place at the Student Union Building. Pancakes will be served from 8 am until 11 am. The pancakes will be cooked and served up by a team of volunteers alongside the UVSS Board of Directors.

This will be an opportunity to get free breakfast, and to chat with the brand new members of the UVSS board. According to the UVSS’s Instagram,  vegan and gluten-free options will also be available. 

Movie in the Quad

On Sept. 9, starting at 9 pm, the Movie in the Quad event will be returning to its classical format with a screening of Raya and the Last Dragon–a film that is inspired by and meshes aspects of several Southeast Asian cultures.

According to the UVSS Instagram, the first 200 people to arrive will get a free drink: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, or AHA sparkling water. And if students also make sure to bring a canned food item to donate, they’ll be able to get free popcorn as well!

Bands on the Roof

To wrap up CKO on Friday, Sept. 10, there will be Bands on the Roof of the SUB. The lineup consists of local artists, who will be performing sets from 12 until 4pm. Sept. 10 is also the day that Thunderfest will take place on the quad.

Although some larger in-person events will return this year, the UVSS will continue  to offer both an in-person and online experience as they livestream the event in collaboration with CFUV (UVic’s campus radio station).

The Martlet had a chance to speak to Marran Dodds, the UVSS Director of Outreach and Student Relations, about CKO. According to Dodds, the lineup for Bands on the Roof will feature BIPOC and LGBTQ2+ led bands.

“Q the events director has done a really good job at increasing the diversity in the kinds of events that we’re running,” Dodds said.

In an email to the Martlet, UVSS director of events, Q Roxas highlighted that while not every individual in Bands on the Roof is BIPOC or 2SLGBTQIA+, the UVSS prioritized those individuals in their search for bands. 

The main acts for Bands on the Roof are: Elan Noon, Dilly Cooner, Niloo, and Scars and Scarves, and DJ Pesewa will play in between sets. For more information on each band, check out the UVSS’s Instagram page. 

New COVID-19 Restrictions

Even with CKO events returning nearer to normal, there is still a sense of uncertainty going into the 2021/2022 year around how COVID-19 will continue to impact events and classes. Dodds told the Martlet that there are mixed feelings within the UVSS on the return to in-person events.

“It’s twofold. Folks are really excited to get back to campus and find their campus community and make friends,” Dodds said. “At the same time, folks are obviously anxious and nervous about coming back to campus […] with COVID, and the uncertainty there.”

On Aug. 23 and 24, the province of B.C. once again announced heightened COVID-19 restrictions. As the mask mandate was reintroduced, the province simultaneously introduced a vaccine-pass requirement which will go in to effect on Sept. 13.

The B.C. vaccine pass will not be required to attend classes but will be required for extracurricular activities and other “non-essential” events on university campuses.

Shortly after the province’s announcement, UVic introduced their own vaccine policy. The university will require students to self-declare their vaccination status, and if not declared or vaccinated, students must agree to rapid testing measures.

Despite all the announcements in late August, the CKO events will be hosted outside and therefore able to run as normal. The new restrictions will, however, impact clubs and course union days, and any planned indoor events for the near future.