It’s a fall semester unlike any other at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. But with safety measures in place, including mask-wearing, social distancing and robust testing, students are still able to have valuable social experiences—and fun! Plenty of fun!—amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While large-scale gatherings might be on hiatus, virtual events are scattered about the entertainment calendar. There are hands-on activities aplenty, including many ways to give both your body and mind a good workout. And there are even extracurriculars that’ll beef up your resume when it gets to be job hunting time.
Here’s a run through of 10 things-to-do ideas for students who mask up on campus this fall.
Get out on the Fox River.
The Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) is offering free rentals of kayaks and paddleboards during the fall semester. Equipment is open for reservation up to three days in advance and available in two-hour blocks. You’ll have to align with Mother Nature, of course—for safety purposes, water equipment rentals are open as long as the water temperature is above 60 degrees and stable. For more information, visit the SRWC website.
Work some wheels.
The SRWC also has bikes and rollerblades available for rent for free this semester. Both are available daily, weekly or for weekends. Both also provide a great way to cruise around campus or explore the city of Oshkosh, especially on some of the warm, sunny days sure to come before winter arrives. For more information, visit the SRWC website.
Go gallery gazing.
The Allen Priebe and Annex galleries are both open inside the Arts and Communications building. The Allen Priebe Gallery is home to the faculty biennial exhibition, featuring work by faculty from all three UWO campuses, through Oct. 29. The Annex Gallery is showcasing nevertheless, she persisted: Prints by Modern and Contemporary Women Artists through Oct. 30. Both get new exhibitions in November.
The Gail F. Steinhilber Art Gallery on the third floor of Reeve Memorial Union has an exhibition, Never Silent, showcasing collaborative works reflecting on the experiences of survivors of domestic violence. It runs through Nov. 6.
Pitch in with Titan Volunteers.
Titan Volunteers is a UWO student organization dedicated to community outreach and service. They’re working hard to find ways to make an impact despite the pandemic, including volunteering at the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry and planning for a card-making program for seniors. For more information, visit the Reeve Union volunteerism page.
Catch a comedian.
Laughs have been hard to come by in 2020. The escape you might be looking for could be a virtual comedy show hosted by the Reeve Union team. Comedian Ryan Conner, who’s written for Ridiculousness and Saturday Night Live and appeared on The Late Late Show With James Corden, performs on Oct. 8. You can register online now.
Later in October comes Homecoming week and a slate of virtual events. Among them is an online Bingo game hosted by a to-be-named comedian on Oct. 21. For more on Homecoming events, check out the schedule.
Reeve Union Board will host a grab-and-go picture frame painting event on Oct. 15. Craft kits are available for pickup in the Reeve Union concourse before the event to make sure you’re set up for whatever artsy frame project you have in mind. Advance sign-up is required via the Titan Connection app or website.
Maybe dabble in music.
The UWO songwriting club meets every Wednesday evening and engages in writing exercises, sharing feedback, discussing songwriting and more. It’s a group of about 15 students hanging out each week, keeping their distance, wearing masks and disinfecting instruments. There’s also an a capella group and other choruses who regularly meet on campus, but tryouts for the semester have come and gone. (Still, something to keep in mind for singers moving forward.)
Lend a hand on campus.
Hands On Oshkosh is an event designed to bring together the UWO community to help beautify the campus. Students can volunteer to help weed and plant Oct. 15 and 17. The first 100 students to sign up will get a Hands On reusable face mask and T-shirt. For more information, visit the event page.
Make it a movie night.
Gathering in a theater might be a no-go, but the Diversity and Inclusion DocuSeries rolls on with a virtual model. The film series set up to showcase stories and narratives of marginalized people. Next up is Rafiki on Oct. 22. For more information, visit the Reeve Union event page.
Intramural sports are starting soon and there are a slew of options. We’re talking table tennis, bocce ball, bag toss, volleyball (twos), golf simulation and basketball and football skills contests, among others. Things are a little different than past years—much of the action is a one-on-one setup—but there’s still plenty of fun and competition to be had. For more information, visit the SRWC website.
Have a paranormal night.
Yes, you read that right. Chris Moon, who’s made numerous TV appearances and visits college campuses across the country, will present virtually on his paranormal experiences. The 90-minute show followed by a virtual ghost hunt is Oct. 28, just a few days before Halloween. For more information, visit the Reeve Union event page.