Concordia University Chicago held its first ever Spirit Week from Tuesday, April 6 through Saturday, April 10. Spirit Week was created as a way to celebrate the university and promote school spirit in the simplest of ways.
The five day event featured different themes, games, and events each day in the triangle, and encouraged the students to support the athletic teams as they played throughout the week. Spirit Week was planned and organized by the Office of Student Leadership (OSLI) with the assistance of Rachel Lundstrom, the coordinator of student involvement.
OSLI decided to host a Spirit Week for the first time because the annual homecoming week was cancelled in the fall due to COVID-19 restrictions. “No, this has never been done before,” Lundstrom noted. “Due to COVID we created and offered a range of new programs and events, and Spirit Week was just one example.” OSLI partnered with various clubs and organizations across campus to plan and execute Spirit Week, crediting OSLI, Athletics, and Spiritual Life as contributors.
Tuesday, April 6 kicked off Spirit Week with a Sports Day theme. Students were encouraged to dress in their favorite sports attire and stop by the Triangle to play lawn games such as volleyball, cornhole, and giant jenga. The rest of the week followed a similar structure, encouraging students to participate in the dress up themes, but also offering activities to engage students and draw more attention to the school sanctioned events. Following Sports Day, the rest of the week featured 90’s Day, Western Day, Maroon and Gold Day, and Tie Dye Day.
A variety of students showed up to participate in various activities throughout the week. Freshman Mackenzie Straulin was one of the multiple student athletes who found joy in having something to do on campus again. “I was surprised to see something actually going on outside and that there were a lot of people out there too,” Straulin noted. “I think that it was really good at promoting school spirit because I got my first yellow Concordia shirt and a bunch of other things.”
“We were very lucky that on our first day we had beautiful weather and a lot of people came out for the Sports Day,” Ludstrom added. “Unfortunately the weather the rest of the week didn’t permit for more outdoor events, but we filled those days with virtual options.” Taking the place of the previously planned outdoor activities, virtual 90’s trivia, virtual western themed escape room, and virtual game night were added to provide students with indoor activities.
One of the biggest drawbacks to this first Spirit Week was how few people seemed to know about it beforehand. Students noted that they didn’t necessarily realize that the activities were being offered e for a specific reason. Straulin noted that “it’s always been like that when it comes to school events. The only notice we get is a bunch of emails that most people unsubscribe to or delete as soon as they see it.”
As campus life starts to return to more normalcy, CUC’s OSLI will likely host more in-person and online events.