After almost a year and a half of remote learning, UR has kicked off the start of a fully in-person semester with Yellowjacket Weekend. From Friday to Monday, students had the opportunity to sign up for clubs at the Activities Fair, eat from food trucks at the Carnival on Wilson Quad, and attend a free Jesse McCartney concert. First-years and sophomores alike were able to participate in these in-person events for the first time, with many expressing excitement to see old friends and meet new people.
Sophomore Medha Pan said that her favorite part of Yellowjacket Weekend was seeing so many people outside. “Last year I was totally remote, so I didn’t have this sense of community, but seeing everyone outside even though classes barely started was nice,” Pan said.
Sophomore Fateema Islam agreed that the Activities Fair and Yellowjacket Weekend lived up to her expectations. “The whole community really showed up and showed out,” she said. “I finally got to see what a real campus looks like.”
Wilson Common Student Activities event planner and senior Favorlyn Kpaka estimated that over 300 students attended the Activities Fair alone. “I’ve worked these events for many, many years, so I feel like the Activities Fair showed [students] taking advantage of all the resources that this campus provides. I was very happy with the number of people that came and really truly got all those resources that they need[ed].”
Kpaka also added that Yellowjacket Weekend is the perfect opportunity for students to explore aspects of campus they don’t know about. “Even though I’m a senior, I don’t know every single resource that’s here on campus. So I’m always being reminded about these new resources and departments [through these events].”
Although some students agreed that attending the events to see other people was worth it, some students said that the activities themselves were not that entertaining.
“I thought it was pretty underwhelming to be quite honest,” junior Sarah Unowsky told the Campus Times. “But I did enjoy the funnel cake and I have a frisbee to paint — that’s pretty cool.”
Junior Hannah Sattler shared similar sentiments. “I feel like there weren’t that many things to do and the lines for everything were very long,” she said. “I was also disappointed by the singer.”
Despite having some reservations, overall, students said that they had a great time being around others and seeing campus come to life again.
Pan, who spent a year learning remotely, said that she’s excited for an in-person semester and that Yellowjacket Weekend is just the beginning of rebuilding those connections.
“This is the first time I can finally belong.”