Credit: Anna Chan

How to Get Involved On and Off Campus

Through much creativity and planning, local organizations are working tirelessly to provide safe community events for all, even in the midst of a pandemic.

In the upcoming weeks and months, mark calendars for local gatherings to connect with fellow residents in downtown Siloam Springs. Main Street Siloam Springs is hosting the following events this fall:

  • September 10th – Girls Night Out
  • October 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th – “Shoptober” Saturdays
  • November 8th – Holiday Open House – Downtown holiday season begins in the retail shops
  • November 28th – Small Biz Saturday – Downtown and city-wide shop small business event

Each event is created for a wide variety of ages. Right here in Northwest Arkansas and a short drive from campus, downtown Siloam Springs has a variety of shops and restaurants who take part in these events.

At John Brown University, faculty and staff have been hard at work preparing the school year to remain “6-feet-apart, yet close in heart,” as stated on a post from the JBU Instagram account. With just under 2,000 students returning for the fall semester, the campus is still thriving, although slightly differently.

Student Events and Activities (SEA) is creating events that uphold the university’s coronavirus guidelines while providing fun outlets and stress relief for students. “COVID has changed the way we plan events, but there are many creative and resourceful people on campus working hard to host safe and enriching events,” Caitlyn Bennett, interim director of student engagement, said.

Eric Robinson, freshman psychology major, shared how the impact of campus connections has driven him to look for ways to get involved. “It’s important for your mental health and your social life to stay involved because, during a pandemic, it’s easy to isolate ourselves,” Robinson said.  

This week, SEA launches sign-ups for “Spy vs Spy.” The annual competition begins on Monday, September 7th.

On Saturday, September 5th, SEA will be hosting a Chalk Art Festival. There will be music, a chalk art competition and faculty and staff judges awarding prizes for the best creations.

In addition to these campus activities, there will also be events focused on enrichment and learning.

Hosted by the Department of Political Science and The Center for Faith and Flourishing, “Reimagining Faith and Public Life” will host their fourth annual event on September 29th. This year’s theme will be “Seeing Politics Beyond 2020.” Justin Giboney from the AND Campaign and Kaitlyn Schiess, author of “The Liturgy of Politics,” are the forum speakers.

Later in the semester, the Honors Scholars Program will be hosting a series on sexuality. The first of four events will be held during the first week of October.

For John Brown University students, follow @jbu.sea on Instagram for event and activity updates as they near. Follow @MainStreetSiloamSprings on Facebook and Instagram to stay in the know about everything happening downtown.

Photo: Anna Chan, The Threefold Advocate