2020 is constantly a whirlwind of changes, especially for Greenville University deciding to conduct face-to-face classes during the 2020 school year. GU has done an amazing job at working with the students and making sure this school year is as memorable as the previous years. Homecoming has always been a big event at GU, and a lot of students were upset at the fact there probably was not going to be a normal homecoming weekend. However, GSGA came to the rescue and were still able to give the students a “virtual homecoming.” GSGA was still able to host its second annual drive-in movie, making the virtual homecoming a success!
GSGA hosted its first annual drive-in last year during homecoming week. The current GSGA President, Kenzie Schwab, came up with this event last year trying to create a new interesting way for students to be able to get together and still watch a movie with one another. The drive-in turned out to be nothing short of successful! Schwab states, “We had over 50 cars last year stretching all the way to the back! Why not continue it?” Schwab seemed to be very passionate about her idea that was thought up last year. She was thinking about what the students would thrive most doing, and the drive-in movie event was just that. “Drive-in movies is a fun hybrid experience. You get to talk with your friends but also enjoy being around other people enjoying the movie,” explained Schwab.
With homecoming being all virtual this year, the drive-in event was the perfect event to host for this non-face-to-face weekend. Schwab states, “It’s amazing how the previous year collided with the situation we are in this year on campus. I was going to continue this event this year, even without a pandemic.” Individuals loved this event, as drive-in theaters are starting to slowly disappear and some students have never even gotten to attend one, so this allows them to get a new experience. “It just worked out that this event met the need for social distancing. A virtual homecoming with students on campus makes for socially distant events,” commented Schwab.
GSGA put a ton of work into this event to make it happen for the students this year. Last year, they were able to use a radio station to send the movie’s audio through and have the individuals listen to that way. Unfortunately, radio stations were not an option for this year. “With the cold weather and the attendance we had, external audio and speakers made the dream still happen,” says Schwab. But Schwab and GSGA did not stop there. “There was cross-collaboration with IT, facilities, and the audio workers to make it happen. I don’t think students realize everything that goes into an event but we are still happy to serve and make it happen!” continues Schwab.
The movie chosen this year was Monsters Inc. and there were two big reasons behind it. For one, it reminds the students of their childhood, but also it kind of goes along with what students and the world are having to deal with currently. Schwab states, “In a tough time, where it seems like there is a shortage of ‘screams’ and we are scrambling to grasp on our resources; laughter, and relationships, our society is realizing, is most important. We need to enjoy and treasure these joyful moments more because we cannot plan what’s next.” Schwab is exactly right. The students need a break to just enjoy life, and this event did exactly that.
Schwab was so thrilled getting to see her student body attending this event and being a part of campus activities. “Unlike so many other universities, we get to be face-to-face. Having any event is special and exciting for me and it is an honor and surreal how we get to make it happen. I am so thankful for the students and how careful they are being, and I am so grateful we get to continue to have in-person interaction,” states Schwab.
Seeing all the students bundled up, laughing with one another, and enjoying the movie was the biggest highlight of the event. Anna Dailey, a senior at Greenville University, was so excited to be able to attend one last homecoming event for her last year at GU. Dailey stated, “I was so happy to hear that GSGA was still having this event for homecoming because it was such a success last year! I think this was a good event to host for virtual homecoming because it was a safe way to celebrate homecoming. Drive-in movies are a great, free event for students and I hope that GU can continue this tradition throughout the years!”
Looks like GSGA hosted a winner for this virtual homecoming weekend!