Greenville University is one of the few colleges that still has students on campus for face-to-face classes, but with restrictions, it is hard entertaining the students and giving them the college experience they deserve. Johnny Hinton, the Coordinator of Residence Education of Hood Hall, saw the idea of Zoom Bingo and presented it to the Residence Life Staff. From there, it has been a successful event for the students. The students hop on to Zoom and enjoy themselves with their friends through a nice game of bingo.
This was not an event that just happened right after they brought up the idea. It took a lot of work to put together, but they did everything they could to make it become a reality for the students. “It has been a collaborative effort across campus with many different groups contributing to the budget for the event. For each one, we are getting better and better, and always trying to make it more enjoyable,” stated Hinton. The numbers continue to grow each time Zoom Bingo happens. Hinton continues, “I owe it to my phenomenal RAs, Vanessa Perkinson, Nic Wollerman, Devin Oregon, Cooper Majers, and Hanson Hartwig, who always help me set-up and organize the event. They are amazing.”
At each Zoom Bingo event, Hinton and his helpers hand out prizes for the winners. The prizes consist of an assortment of items, ranging from snacks to dorm necessities. Hinton has a plan that goes into deciding what prizes they will hand out each week. He explained, “I like to ask lots of different people what they need/want. My RAs help a lot with that, but I also like asking other students what they think. Usually, the general prizes are bulk snacks and everyday stuff like tide pods and dorm essentials. I also like buying a couple large prizes. This week that was the 4th gen Amazon Echo, a camping chair, a tent, and a Britta pitcher. I love being able take funds that we have and get students stuff they need/want in a fun way!”
In addition to bettering the prizes each event, the amount of participants has also increased every meeting. “Every Zoom Bingo has gotten bigger and bigger. At our first one, we had about 65 people. This week, we had over 100 people on the Zoom [not including multiple people on each Zoom],” stated Hinton. Participants are able to interact with one another, joke around, and of course, talk about all the bingos they get. Hinton explains, “It is so fun to have everyone on Zoom being goofy and having fun in a safe way.”
Seeing the students hang out on Zoom is better than stressing about them hanging out with one another in-person, which would pose the risk of getting sick. Hinton explains how he feels seeing all the students on campus this year by saying, “I get really nervous about students getting sick or getting someone in my family sick. Even so, it is so meaningful to get to be with my RAs and interact with my residents face-to-face. I know so many students want to be here and desire to learn with classes in-person, so I’m glad we can do that in safer ways than other schools.”
Hinton has worked really hard on making campus events happen safely for the students, but he is not the only one. “I wanted to give another shout-out to GSGA. Kenzie and her team have worked so hard to not only be a voice for students, but also provide fun and engaging programming on campus. In the 5 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen Residence Life and GSGA collaborate on so much. Kenzie and I both hope that this can be part of the continued influence of student voice on programming and campus culture,” stated Hinton.
Although the semester is quickly coming to an end, there is still one more Zoom Bingo before the break. It will be on December 2nd, and it will be in collaboration with the Interfaith Club. They will be making it holiday-themed, and there will even be a chance to win an Xbox X. Students, be on the lookout for the email with the Zoom link to join!