While the 2020-21 academic year at Ferris State University will open with many new considerations for students, faculty and staff, to promote community health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulldog Beginnings offers more than a dozen event opportunities to gather and enjoy the community.
Ferris’ Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services Director Angela Roman said they have scheduled a variety of traditional events and developed new opportunities to gather and engage.
“I’m excited our Bulldog Beginnings team provides a variety of in-person, virtual, and hybrid activities to ensure a fun and welcoming beginning to the new academic year,” Roman said. “The last several months have been a learning experience for our staff as they have for many departments on campus. We hope our students take part with the awareness that social distancing guidelines apply when we offer Drive-In Movies, or ‘Fridays at Ferris Musicians.’ We will also have participant limits of 100 at events like Headphone Disco, so students will need to RSVP their attendance to take part, through Bulldog Connect.”
Students will have a prime opportunity to socialize safely at the TikTok Dance Challenge, being offered from 8 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26 in the North Quad. The Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center is an event co-sponsor with Bulldog Beginnings. This is the first activity scheduled during move-in days, which are staggered across a three-day schedule to promote safe entry into the residence halls and other campus living facilities.
Likewise, the Music on the Quad concert, featuring The Balsam Brothers, on Thursday evening, Aug. 27 will be limited to 100 people, with social distancing of six feet or more, from participants who are not in your household. The concert is from 7 to 9 p.m. Event attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair to the South Quad.
Bulldog Welcome, on Friday, Aug. 28, for 2020 will be a more mobile opportunity for students to get free Ferris items, as several campus locations between 7 and 9 p.m. by the “Swag Cab.” Students can also begin to assemble in Lot 28 off Perry Street, north of the Intramural Fields at 8 p.m. that evening, as the Residence Hall Association offers the 2020 Disney release “Onward.” Drive-in style participation is encouraged, along with students who bring a blanket or towel and watch from the nearby lawns.
The North Campus Quad will see daring feats on Saturday, Aug. 29, as the Cincinnati Circus Sideshow entertains from 12 to 4 p.m., with a variety of acts. Roman said this troupe plans to offer their routines at different points on the Quad, so those wishing to enjoy them can choose a time to see the performances from a safe distance.
A number of the Bulldog Beginnings events in the first week of classes are taking to the out of doors, or virtual means to promote their opportunities to students, Roman said.
“I’m excited our Bulldog Beginnings team provides a variety of in-person, virtual, and hybrid activities to ensure a fun and welcoming beginning to the new academic year,” Roman said. “We hope students enjoy the safe, interactive options developed for them, as we offer a brand new virtual fair platform.”
RecFest, on Monday, Aug. 31, will be hosted outside the Student Recreation Center. The Student Employment Job Fair will be on the Easy Virtual Fairs platform from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2 events for some student groups will be a mix of in-person and virtual gatherings. Roman said that the Office of Multicultural Student Services, Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center and LGBTQ+ Resource Center will use that day to explain their services, invite students to join and offer easy ways to meet and enjoy the campus community.
Thursday, Sept. 3 is Founders’ Day, an opportunity to celebrate the 136th anniversary of the university’s establishment in Big Rapids. President David Eisler’s annual address will be available to the campus community through a virtual platform. Students and staff can visit the Bulldog Bites truck in the North Quad between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. There will be campus tours and geocaching with the Ferris History Task Force at any time on Founders’ Day.
Following the University Recreation Golf Outing at Katke Golf Course Saturday, Sept. 5, there will be a variety of events to introduce new, and transfer students to the organizations offered by the university and student groups, which seek to build community and heighten the student campus experience. Roman said that Bulldog Bonanza is a virtual offering this year with all registered student organizations on display from 4 to 7 p.m Sept. 9.
“We are more excited than ever to have students pursue these opportunities in the year to come,” Roman said.
Annual Bulldog Beginnings favorites highlight the last weekend of the schedule, as Headphone Disco is the lead event on Friday, Sept. 11. Signing up through Bulldog Connect offers the best chance for a safe space to enjoy the DJ’s offerings. Saturday, Sept. 12 begins with the fourth annual Big Alley Way Clean Up, with teams checking in on the North Campus Quad to complete forms, pick up tools and receive alley assignments. The Drive-In Movie returns to Lot 28 that evening, with their feature beginning at 9 p.m.
“We are proud of the efforts of our Bulldog Beginnings Team to create an engaging schedule in a most unique situation,” Roman said. “We hope all students review the events and make plans to enjoy their favorites.”