KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The beginning of a new year offers a chance to implement new wellness routines and refocus goals. From job prospects and fitness resources to opportunities to connect with campus organizations and programs and serve the community, spring semester is ripe with potential to get involved at Western Michigan University.
An unprecedented academic year deserves an unprecedented approach to connecting with peers and finding one's passion on campus. While a pandemic pivot sent Bronco Bash online in the fall, the first-ever Virtual Bash managed to connect hundreds of students to organizations, local businesses and important University resources. The event's success has led to a second Virtual Bash this academic year, planned for Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m.
“The event is focused on helping students find their place, their niche and their passion here at WMU,” says Brad Kosiba, assistant director of campus engagement, emphasizing the importance of offering avenues for connection at a time when social interaction and in-person activities are limited. “It’s a very compelling and important part of being on campus. We also want to give (students) a chance to connect with campus resources that they may not have other opportunities to find or be aware of."
Students can register for Virtual Bash on the event's webpage. At the event, there will be opportunities to explore virtual booths, chat live with representatives from various clubs, student organizations and businesses and enter raffles for a number of prizes.
HONORING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
The University and local partners have planned a series of virtual events to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., exploring the theme "None of us is free until all of us are free." A virtual discussion about the racial healing work underway in the Kalamazoo community kicks off the series on Thursday, Jan. 7. Other events include commemoration of the National Day of Racial Healing and a community read of "From here to Equality" by William Darity and A. Kristen Mullen. A full list of events in the MLK series is available on the MLK Celebration webpage.
King believed in a commitment to service, saying, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" WMU community members interested in volunteering for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 18, can sign up for opportunities in the ExperienceWMU portal.
New Year, New YOU
The Student Recreation Center (SRC) is more than a place to exercise; it's a hub to connect, engage and focus on holistic wellness. The SRC's three-day New Year, New YOU event from Wednesday, Jan. 20, to Friday, Jan. 22, offers all students, faculty and staff a chance to see what the facility has to offer. In addition to access to workout equipment and fitness classes, each day an aspect of well-being laid out in WMU's new YOU at Western platform will be highlighted:
- Wednesday: Thrive. Focus on physical and emotional health.
- Thursday: Succeed. Explore strategies to improve occupational, intellectual and financial wellness.
- Friday: Matter. Examine areas for growth in social and environmental aspects of your life.
Representatives from various departments and programs on campus will be available in the SRC on different days, such as the Office of Sustainability and Career and Student Services. Organizers aim to help students identify goals and areas they'd like to work on, and then give them the tools to hold themselves accountable and find long-term success with YOU at Western.
"The start of the year is always a fresh start," says Amy Seth, director of University Recreation. "My biggest advice for students setting goals is not just setting this long list of things you end up not doing but asking yourself, 'Why? What will I gain if I do this?' Because if there's a real reason why, then you might stay with it. It's simple, small changes that you do over time that actually make an improvement."
Spring semester the SRC will continue to offer free group fitness classes—both virtual and in-person pending emergency pandemic orders—to students, faculty and staff with SRC memberships. Students with at least one in-person class on Main Campus are billed an enrollment fee that grants SRC access. Those who do not have in-person classes can pay $90 to activate their membership. Participation in F45 classes requires an additional fee. Visit the SRC webpage or call (269) 387-3115 for more information.
Students sharpening their career skills can find a number of opportunities to connect with potential employers during spring semester. Virtual career fairs kick off Wednesday, Feb. 3, with events focused on integrated supply management and marketing. Career fairs tailored for STEM fields, government and nonprofit organizations, aviation and education are also planned. The largest event of the semester, the annual February Career Day on Thursday, Feb. 11, will feature companies from the state, region and throughout the nation in a variety of fields.
WMU's Career and Student Employment Services and the Zhang Career Center offer advising and resources to help students prepare for interviews and refine their resume. Students are encouraged to register on Handshake, a virtual platform where employers post job and internship opportunities. Helpful tips to navigate virtual job fairs and interviews can be found in the Career and Student Services resource guide.
For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online