KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Determined to foster community and connections, Western Michigan University's Office of Student Engagement is reimagining Bronco Bash 2020. To ensure the health and safety of participants and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the 40-year-old event, which typically brings together some 15,000 students and community members each fall, will not be held in person.
"It's going to be a virtual involvement fair where different student organizations, University departments and vendors will have virtual booths, and students will be able to chat with any organization to learn more about them," says Kate Bates, associate director in the Office of Student Engagement.
Tentatively scheduled for early October, the virtual fair will give students the opportunity to connect with hundreds of organizations, University departments and businesses.
"We know that about 70% of our students are involved in at least one student organization. Many of those students initially connect with a student organization through Bronco Bash, and to not have that would be a missed opportunity for students to find their community here at Western," Bates says.
The pandemic has created barriers to physical connections and transformed typical campus life, making the role of this reimagined Bronco Bash even more crucial.
"It's sad that it's a tradition we can't do in person this year, but we can still do it virtually and make those important connections," Bates says.
The Bronco Bash team is still in the planning phase of the virtual event. Student groups, businesses, University departments or community organizations interested in hosting a virtual booth should contact Brad Kosiba at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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