There was a lot of built-up energy and momentum for students returning to campus this year and Hillel at ASU took the opportunity to capitalize by providing not just one welcome week, but a full 6-weeks of programming, called ‘The First Six’, focused on showing that we were ready to welcome all students back in full swing. One of the highlights was our annual Street Fair where we had nearly 100 students gather in our parking lot to socialize and enjoy free food all while collecting SWAG and getting to meet the many student groups and campus partners that make up our Hillel community. With the lifting of campus restrictions, we’ve also been able to return to tabling and programs around campus where over 300 students have already connected to Hillel, both on the Tempe and Downtown campuses.
Our staff and student leaders felt moments of shock and adjustment when we all returned to campus, but they also continued to show resiliency and jump back into things despite the sense of ambiguity that we all face as a result of the pandemic. There was a communal sense of relief to being back in person and feeling the impact of connecting without a screen in between us.
This is a semester all about experimenting, what does our new normal look like? To Hillel at ASU this looks like learning from the last 18+ months that students are open to new things. We had over 20 first-year students show up to pizza by the dorms. We had many students join us for high holiday meals and services (you can read about one of them, Liora, here), and others join us on campus for ‘Bagels and Shofar’ during Rosh Hashanah and yoga during Yom Kippur. A Yom Kippur meditation followed by break-fast rounded out the holiday.
We are constantly innovating and iterating to meet students’ needs as we all learn what those needs are. We are excited to keep you updated as we all evolve together.