Hannah Vanderhooft—Staff Writer
Dordt Student Activities (DSA) oversees Dordt University’s campus events. This semester, these events have included a screening of Luca on the campus green and Airband, amongst others. Since COVID-19, though, campus-wide activities have looked different.
This semester, DSA, which is led by senior Lexi Schnaser, hosted two large-scale events: The Freshman Talent Show and Airband.
“We really wanted to make sure that we started this year off strong with events, just to push student involvement in campus community,” Schnaser said.
This year’s Freshman Talent show was open for all students to attend, while last year’s show was held in an empty B.J. Haan Auditorium and livestreamed on the campus green. This time around, seniors Sharlee Fopma and Sarah Holmberg hosted the event. They dressed in Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts, poking fun at the stereotype of frat bros. In the show, one freshman played piano, another threw cards, and another performed standup comedy.
Last month, Chase Pheifer and Parks Brawand hosted Airband—an event where students show off their lip syncing and choreography skills. A group of senior girls, dubbed “Remember Me…” showcased their abilities to a compilation of Taylor Swift songs. The RAs of the men’s residence halls gave a winning performance as they danced to a compilation of pop and Disney songs, including snippets of “You’re Welcome” from Moana and “Love Story” by Taylor Swift.
Prior to COVID-19-related restrictions last year, Dordt Student Activities hosted several large events per semester. These events attracted a wide variety of students from across campus and provided a way for students to participate in their campus’ community.
In past semesters, however, COVID-19 made this community-building difficult. In the 2020-21 school year, in addition to The Freshman Talent Show, DSA put on one other event: The Event. This well-attended, unmasked event combined DSA’s typical three large-scale events, including Talent Extravaganza (or TX) and NCDC, a music competition between Dordt and Northwestern College.
Because of the pandemic, this year’s seniors are the only students on campus who are familiar with these events.
While Dordt’s current juniors experienced the fall semester’s events during their freshman year, the sophomore class has experienced only a small taste of what events and community can look like at Dordt. This year’s freshman class is the first class in two years getting to experience a normal freshman year.
DSA pushed for large events right away this year, in an effort to build community not only for freshman, but also for sophomores.
“I had figured out the school aspect of Dordt, but I hadn’t figured out the social aspect,” sophomore Aleasha Hintz said. “At the beginning of this year I felt like a second-year freshman because I didn’t know this aspect of Dordt last year.”
Through campus events, students make connections and meet new friends.
“I met all of my friends through being involved in Dordt activities, so I’m so glad that underclassmen are experiencing these events again because it’s an actual representation of what it’s like to be a student at Dordt again,” senior Johanna Gross said.
Schnaser is happy with how DSA’s events turned out this year. While she expects it will take some time for their momentum to return, the positive student response she has noticed provides her with an excitement for the upcoming spring.
“The addition of campus events has been an overwhelmingly positive thing in my life” Hintz said.