HomeCOVID-19 CoverageFall 2020 ROC week presents challenges amid COVID-19

Fall 2020 ROC week presents challenges amid COVID-19

Another ROC week at Benedictine College has been put into the memory books, and thiswas one  to remember in the best way possible. 

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the events the week before a semester begins at Benedictine hope to introduce new students to one of the main pillars of the college, community.

Challenges to This Year’s ROC Week

Team Shakespeare:1564 with all their beanies after the Beanie Banquet. Photo Credit: Jessica Lincoln.

ROC Week offers fun interactions for the incoming students as they transition into a new environment.

Political science major Wyatt Iseman, senior, and music education major Lindsey Hart, senior, worked over the summer to make this the best week possible while observing the new Raven Safety Plan recently put in place.

“One of the hardest challenges with planning ROC week in the midst of the virus was definitely the fact that the main part of our mission is to provide coalitions for students and that basically goes against everything that we are trying to do while maintaining Raven Safety,” Hart said. 

The pre-planning events led to more virtual events during ROC Week, specifically talks, presentations and skits. It was a change of scenery compared to previous ROC Weeks, which were in person.   

Diane Holly, director of student activities, worked with over 100 ROC Leaders to ensure all adjustments were made in time.   

“The ROC Leaders we had were a great flexible group. They wanted to come back to Benedictine, they wanted to bring students in, and they [were] willing to what was needed to happen make that happen,” Holly said.  

The ROC Leaders had lots to prepare before they arrived on campus during the summer. Some leaders worked on crafts such as door decorations, posters, costumes and roll-call ideas prior to coming to campus. 

Adaptations to ROC Week

Team Benedictine:1858 playing Battle Ship during the Water Games. Photo Credit: Erin Harrington.

Usually ROC Leaders would have a week of training to complete before the incoming students arrived. However, with the semester starting early, they had only a couple days to prepare andcomplete plans for ROC week.   

ROC week had many of the same events as previous years, including the Water Games, Roll-Call meetings, and the Beanie Banquet. Most of the competitions and fun activities were done outside, while all the talks and presentations were watched in various places.   

ROC leader Maria Piche, senior, enjoyed this year’s events.

“I think they (Wyatt, Lindsey and Diane) did really good with the events that were planned. Given the circumstances, it was probably really challenging things that they could do making sure everyone was safely distanced, but they did a really good job with that,” Piche said.  

Madeleine Bolan, a freshman studying sports media and marketing, didn’t have any expectations going into ROC Week.   

“I didn’t really hear much about it. I was kind of surprised and was glad that the groups were…kind of smaller. I was expecting them to be a little bigger,” Bolan said.   

There were over 60 groups of freshmen and transfers this year for ROC week. The theme this year was “A Vision Through Time.” Each group represented a different time period in world history.   

Many incoming students had an excellent experience with ROC week and some showed that they have interest in being a ROC Leader in their coming years, wanting to experience it again. Molly Dietz, a freshman studying business or elementary education, wants the opportunity to become one next year.  

“I did something similar to being a ROC leader in high school and I really enjoyed doing that. So I am really interested in being a ROC Leader, just being there for the freshman next year would be a great experience,” Dietz said.  

“It was the best week ever! When people aren’t that comfortable yet and that makes it special because people are willing to get outside of their comfort zone. ROC Week is where I see the raven family in its fullest form,” Iseman said.  

“It was so inspiring to see freshman, transfers and ROC leaders so excited and so willing to wear masks, stay distanced, and keep up the energy. It honestly gave me and a lot of other people hope for the school year,” Hart said.

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