On the night of January 26th, the Transylvania Student Life staff hosted “Second Engagements” at the Campus Center, an event designed to re-energize the campus community ahead of the winter semester. Assistant Director of Student Success Corrine O’Bryan spoke with the Rambler about why this event was created, saying, “I think it is really important in the second semester to have some events and opportunities for students to connect with their campus community again.” O’Bryan also emphasized how important opportunities like this were for first-year students who, after the beginning of year events like First Engagements, maybe had yet to find a club or organization they could participate in.
The event consisted of several areas throughout the campus center where various clubs and organizations had set up fun activities for students to participate in, and also get a sense of what joining said clubs might be like. In the game room, students enjoyed playing games such as Mario Kart and The Jackbox Party pack in an area sponsored by Transylvania’s relatively new Esports team. When asked what he hoped people would learn about the team through this event, Esports coach Dylan Osborne said, “ We’re a really inclusive program. We have programs available to everyone, even if you want to compete in one of our tournaments …and we have a lot of stuff to offer if you consider yourself a casual gamer and don’t want to be involved in high-level competition, we do offer everything for someone at Transy.”
Beyond the Esports team, a large focus of the event was to highlight organizations and clubs based out of the multicultural center, such as the Transy Black Student Alliance, the Transy Muslim Student Alliance, TUnity, and several more. On the night of the event, stations for students to connect with these organizations, as well as a collaborative banner and opportunities to design mugs and coasters, were set up in the Multicultural Center. “We’re trying to highlight that area [the Multicultural Center] more. It is on the backside of the campus center, so we have tried to draw a lot of the events into that hallway to get students to go back there” said O’Bryan. Other notable features of the events were stations where students could learn more about Greek Life, and an arts and craft area set up by the Student Success staff where students could decorate journals, paint mini-canvases, and collect affirmation postcards.
When asked what would be considered a success for Second Engagements, O’Bryan responded, “My idea of success is an opportunity for the students to have a good time. I want to make sure that I am seeing students interacting with each other, laughing, and interacting with people they maybe haven’t seen before. Anything under that umbrella would be a success in my book.” Second Engagements had a large turnout among the student body, and only time will tell if new connections were made through the event.