Photo: UM students chat beside a firepit on the UM campus. The new firepits and Adirondack chairs, in addition to a host of winter events, are specifically designed to safely foster connection and engagement between students this semester.
MISSOULA – University of Montana students returning for spring semester will be welcomed by a host of free events designed to safely foster connection and engagement– two elements the COVID-19 pandemic has nearly erased for students. Most events will be held outside and every event will include mask requirements and social distancing measures.
What can normally be a bleak month on campus has been transformed into a “Winter wonderland of events,” according organizers with the University Center, University Facilities and the Office of Student Success – who have worked for months planning safe events specifically for students to enjoy themselves in community and campus.
Students can also Nordic ski on the UM Golf Course, with planned Nordic tours by UM students and equipment available through campus rentals. Every Tuesday on campus from noon to 1 p.m., snacks and hot chocolate will be available to students on the Oval with live music provided by local musicians. Fire pits and Adirondack chairs also are available for students throughout the day.
For those looking to connect in a warmer space, UM partnered with the Roxy Theatre in downtown Missoula, a walkable distance from the UM campus, to host free movie nights exclusively for students. A remote crafting hour also is planned, with crafting supplies provided. Swager said students who are engaged with their campus community and develop connections are more likely to stay in school and persist to graduation.
More student events will be offered throughout the semester, including virtual scavenger hunts, remote workouts and outdoor concerts. Students must log in and register for events through Griz Hub, the University’s central platform for students to join organizations and discover events on campus and in Missoula.