Look at how much can change in a year’s time

Elisa D’Egidio, Staff Writer

Mar. 9, 2020, I was sitting in the Bixler/Gerber Quad, enjoying the spring day, where students could be seen sitting together, catching up on work and getting a breath of fresh air.

The afternoon was soon interrupted when President Steven Kaplan sent out a COVID-19 update email to the University of New Haven community saying that all in-person classes would be suspended, therefore extending spring break. Cheers of excitement and joy filled the quad, as students celebrated an extended break, unaware of what the rest of the year had in store.

Fast forward to Mar. 9, 2021, a year after being sent home and on another gorgeous day, the university hosted a ReCharge Day – the closest to normal that we’ve seen this school year.

In a year’s time, I have not seen as many students interacting on campus and engaging with the community. The Quad was filled with students participating in activities such as cornhole and Kan Jam. Groups of people were laying out on blankets and music was blasting through speakers. With extra safety precautions such as face masks and social distance measures, students were encouraged to go out and finally “recharge” with their community.

The ReCharge Day schedule listed many on-campus events. ChargerREC hosted lawn games in the Quad, ChargerQuest: ReCharge Day Edition was released and free snacks to go were being offered across campus. Virtual events including a treasure hunt,l escape room and Animal Crossing: New Haven were also hosted throughout the day by different groups and organizations.

Students were given the opportunity to participate in a closet pantry in honor of National Women’s Day and Women’s History Month and to thank frontline health care workers with personalized “thank you” notes along with goody bags.

The school promoted food trucks for lunch, pleasing students with the favorites: Fryborg, Spuds Your Way, Lobster Tails, Silver Sands Pizza and more.
The eventful day continued with a screening of “Wonder Woman 1984” in the Alumni Lounge and a H.O.R.S.E basketball contest in the Beckerman Recreation Center.

Personalized license plates in the Moulton Longue, macramé kits in the Alumni Lounge and fleece blankets by the BSAC patio were given out to students throughout the fun-filled day.

This was the first sense of normalcy the university has seen in a very long time. Seeing how organized and safe, yet fun and engaging the events were made me hopeful for what is to come for the rest of this semester and even next year.