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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Winterfest showcases St. Joe’s community

Students+enjoy+outdoor+ice+skating+at+Winterfest.+PHOTO%3A+LESLIE+QUAN+%E2%80%9922%2FTHE+HAWK
Students enjoy outdoor ice skating at Winterfest. PHOTO: LESLIE QUAN ’22/THE HAWK

 Hawk Hill Productions (HHP) and the Office of Student Leadership & Activities (SLA) hosted Winterfest, an outdoor and in-person event on Jan. 29 on the Maguire Wolfington Welcome Center lawn, to bring students together and learn more about student organizations on campus. The event featured classic winter activities, including ice skating and curling, warm and delicious French toast bites and nachos and the spring semester Activities Fair featuring various student organizations and clubs on campus. 

Mikayla Miranda ’22, co-president of HHP, said that she is glad that HHP is able to provide a safe way for students to build community with one another during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I know a lot of people said that [Hawktoberfest] was an event that, especially for the freshmen, really shaped their fall semester because there was such a sense of community on campus,” Miranda said. “Throughout the semester with Winterfest and for the rest of our events throughout the spring, we’re hoping to continue to foster that sense of community.”

The inspiration for the winter event came from the National Association for Campus Activities National Convention, a conference that members of the HHP attended last February in Denver, Colorado, according to Miranda. 

At the conference, you get to meet a lot of different vendors, and one of the companies that we met does artificial ice rinks,” Miranda said. “We stored it in the back of our mind as something that we could use for an event in the future.”

Patrice Romano ’24 attended Winterfest this semester because of how much she enjoyed seeing other people at HHP events last semester. 

“Last semester, one of the only times I went out and saw people was [at] the De-Stress Fest, so events like this are really going to help bridge the social gap a little bit,” Romano said. 

Beth Hagovsky, Ed.D., director of SLA, said the Activities Fair was included in the event to showcase how students can build connections, participate in campus activities and develop leadership skills. 

“My hope in all the work that we do here is that by students participating in some of these programs that they feel more connected to the university as well as other students,” Hagovsky said. “I also hope that they’re actually seeing how they can potentially be involved here on campus or start to become a leader.”

Michaela Walsh ’24 said she felt comfortable at the event with the COVID-19 protocols in place, including mandatory masks and social distancing. She thought it was a great chance to see upperclassmen and get a sense of the student body at St. Joe’s.

“When you’re just going to classes, you don’t get to see that bond that upperclassmen have with their friends, which I think is super cool,” Walsh said. “St. Joe’s is making sure everyone is staying safe and I feel so comfortable coming to these in-person events. I wish they could do more in-person events.”

Hagovsky said that all student organizations were told to continue to plan events, virtual and in-person, and ways to connect with students this semester. 

“My message to them has been to please continue to connect online in a virtual way with your members for the next few weeks,” Hagovsky said. “Then, my hope is that by mid to late February, we’re going to be able to start to do more.”

Hagovsky said that right now, the university is allowed to do outdoor programming this semester based on guidelines set by the City of Philadelphia, but space restrictions are still pretty limiting. 

The City of Philadelphia has restricted outdoor space capacity to 10 people per 1,000 square feet. The Welcome Center lawn is the largest outdoor space on campus, but can only fit 240 people at any given time due to the restrictions, according to Hagovsky. 

Victoria Myers ’22, programmer for HHP, said that, as an organization, HHP is always looking for more ways for St. Joe’s students to enjoy time with one another. 

“We already have some in-person events planned coming up soon,” Myers said. “As the guidelines change, as we’re able to do more stuff in person, we will definitely do that.”

Sarah Harwick ’21 contributed to this story. 

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