University Center encourages creativity and engagement

Staff adapt conditions for the new normal


UW-Whitewater Photo/ Craig Schreiner

Jackie Briggs, front right in purple, Director of Admissions, leads a tour in the University Center lobby. UW-Whitewater admissions staff visited with incoming and prospective students and their families and guided small tour groups around campus on Thursday, July 16, 2020.

Lexy Winchell, Journalist

The James R. Connor University Center is thought of as the heart of campus by many. It is known as a common gathering place for students. So staff knew they had to adapt to conditions brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic and reconsider traditional ways of connecting students.

“All staff and students in the UC are working so hard and creatively to provide engaging and meaningful programs for students in-person and virtually,” said Assistant Director Kim Adams.

Students will be able to check out virtual events at the University Center this fall featuring trivia, magicians, comedians and more. Roberta’s Art Gallery showcases a new digital photo contest and a virtual blog. The first photo contest took place during the summer and exceeded expectations with 77 submissions. Students, staff, and community members are encouraged to submit their photos and vote for their favorites in another photo contest taking place this October.

The new virtual blog called Roberta’s Craft Corner went live in the spring semester, which gave students instructions for creating DIY projects and crafts. All of the crafts can be created at home or in a residence hall, only requiring simple around-the-house supplies. For students that are interested in more crafting opportunities, Roberta’s Art Gallery will host monthly workshops via Facebook Live. Those interested in participating are encouraged to RSVP for workshop kits such as for bowling pin painting, DIY dry erase boards and yarn hat ornament events.

This semester, Warhawk Alley will also be open and ready for students to access in-person. All registered students will now get four free all-access points on their Hawkcard to use toward bowling games, shoes or billiards hours anytime throughout the semester.

“We are really excited that folks will be able to come and use the space. We will have every other lane blocked off for social distancing and they will be able to book through the UW-W app to make a reservation,” said Warhawk Alley coordinator Tonia Kapitan.

Movie nights will still be held in Summers Auditorium with limited seating. However, additional showtimes are added for proper social distancing while watching blockbusters like “Birds of Prey,” “1917,” “Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker” and more.

Students can even check out unlimited board games through contactless checkout. The University Center students and staff are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on campus, while making sure everyone can have a great fall semester.

“Something that we are really trying to do is have programs for people no matter where they are, so they can hop on, watch a show, or go to the alley,” said programming coordinator Marissa Porn. “We are still trying to provide that student experience while they are in college and get the most out of their student dollars.”