Keeping students connected

From movies to concerts to activity kits, Campus Activities Programming Board offers pandemic-safe events.

AnaBeth Spivey, a Health Sciences major from Kansas City, and Joseph Brown, a Black Studies major from Kansas City, participate in the Trap ’N Paint event in the Student Center at The Shack March 16, 2021
AnaBeth Spivey, a Health Sciences major from Kansas City, and Joseph Brown, a Black Studies major from Kansas City, participate in the Trap ’N Paint event in the Student Center at The Shack March 16, 2021. Sam O’Keefe/University of Missouri

By Jesse Berlin

The cubicles where Mizzou sophomore students Molly Wooster and Clayton Jones work are now fully decked out instead of being another sterile work station.

“Our cubicles were pretty bare and empty. It was pretty much just a computer when we first moved in,” Jones said. “The [kits] just came along and ended up being the perfect thing.”

The bags Jones is referring to are the Campus Activities Programming Board (CAPB) activity kits. Due to the pandemic, CAPB introduced and packaged a craft and snack in yellow bags every week and students would pick them up each Thursday.

The activity kits are a convenient bonding activity for sophomores Wooster and Jones. Both IT employees work in the Student Center and walk upstairs, grab kits and take them back to their desks. Doing the crafts gives them the chance to bond with others.

Wooster, Jones and their coworkers have their watercolor paintings hung up in their cubicles from this semester’s watercolor kit.

“It’s fun to see everyone’s office kind of grow with all the decorations, and it definitely reminds me of all the different times we’ve sat down to do all the crafts together,” Wooster said.

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For students looking for a sense of community, CAPB offers a wide range of social events for students to stay engaged on campus.

With CAPB cancelling bigger, in-person offerings due to the pandemic, the student-led, staff-advised department within the Division of Student Affairs has adapted to restrictions so they could continue fostering student engagement, senior and CAPB Student Executive Director Carolyn Faber said

“We’re still trying to find ways to retain some of the essence of what we did before while still keeping students safe,” Faber said.

For example, instead of screening films in Jesse Auditorium, CAPB now show them outside on Kuhlman Court.

“It’s neat to see students come with groups of friends and find their spot on the grass,” Faber said, adding that “it doesn’t have to be a global pandemic for those to continue.”

This spring, CAPB also hosts outdoor Thursday night concerts on Kuhlman Court showcasing local artists. At most outdoor events, CAPB members hand out blankets to attendees to sit on while enjoying the show.

While CAPB is now allowing students to sit in The Shack to create their masterpieces in person this semester, Wooster said she would love to see grab-and-go activities continue when restrictions are lifted. “Sometimes you don’t have just a two-hour block to sit down and do a craft in a room,” Wooster said.

CABP also introduced students to a scavenger hunt app called GooseChase during the 2020 pandemic. This app allows Mizzou students to participate in a campus activity no matter where they lived this past year. This competition has students competing against one another while completing multiple missions/tasks such as checking in at specific locations, taking a photo or solving a puzzle/riddle.

Faber said CAPB helps keep students connected, such as when they meet friends at events or “are able to have some stress relief after the end of a hard week.”

“Students can know that when they’re there, that those events are for them. They’re meant for them,” Faber said. “And I don’t know if we can really find that elsewhere.”