NACA BLOG - Thinking Ahead: Considerations for 2021 - 2/1/2021

Feb. 1, 2021​

Last June 2020, NACA produced its “Thinking Ahead: Considerations for Fall Programming” resource that provided a number of considerations for campus professionals and student programmers to think about as they ventured into the fall semester. Once again, NACA is looking into the future of 2021 to think about how to approach programming, events, and activities into the summer or fall of 2021. You can access the “Thinking Ahead: Considerations for 2021” resource in ENCORE, our digital resource library.

Have you stopped to think about what transitioning back to in-person events will look like? The quick answer is “things will be back to normal,” but that “normal” may not be easy to attain. Flipping back to in-person events may not be as simple as flipping a switch. While there was an abrupt change from in-person events to virtual, the reverse may not be as abrupt. 

Campus activities professionals know that planning major events and activities for campus communities takes months of planning, so you may not be able to wait until vaccines are fully distributed or government agencies give guidance to initiate planning for fall events. You are likely going to have to start the planning now in order to even have the option of hosting in-person events later this year, so how can you begin those conversations now and plan strategically across the institution? 

The following questions are further explored throughout this resource:

  • What conversations do you need to engage in now within your division, department, unit, or team to prepare for the eventual return of in-person events, activities, and programs?
  • What is your timeline for making decisions regarding what campus activities look like for summer 2021 and fall 2021?
  • What will your health and safety needs be? What will the guidelines be for attendees?
  • What have you learned from hosting campus activities during the pandemic that will guide how you approach campus activities throughout 2021?
  • How do you help student leaders and student organizations transition out of virtual?
  • What experiences might your second-year/sophomore students need?
  • How do you prepare to mitigate the potential for an increase in high-risk behaviors due to students’ unrealistic or unsafe expectations?
  • How do you prepare yourself and your staff to return to work in-person with each other and with students and organizations?

Join us for a Coffee & Conversations on Tues., Feb. 9 at 1:00 p.m. as we begin to explore these questions and more. Register is advance to receive Zoom meeting information.

Jameson Root serves as the director of member development & marketing for the National Association for Campus Activities. He has spent the last 15 years working in and around the higher education industry. 

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