On Aug. 27, students gathered in the Palmieri Activities Center for the annual Crab Feast held by the Center for Student Activities. The event allowed first-year students to interact outside of the classroom following the first week of classes while also allowing upper-level students to reacquaint themselves in person after a long year of separation. The event held at the PAC permitted students to be face to face without wearing masks, allowing everyone to feel more connected.
There were two scheduled times, 4 to 5:15 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m., to accommodate as many students as possible. Tickets were $5 per person and the event was sold out. When students arrived, they were met with a Student Activities member at the garage opening, where their names were accounted for and wrists strapped with a neon pink band. Then they were able to sit in one of the rows of covered tables with piles of mallets scattered about. While awaiting the crabs, there were chips to enjoy along with conversations with their classmates.
Resident Assistant Marissa Lawson (C’22) and Rita Anoh (C’23) were very excited about the Crab Feast because it brought them back to how campus life was for them during their earlier years as opposed to the previous year which Lawson described as “very disconnected” due to the pandemic. This year, however, Anoh said that there was a “nicer energy” all around campus and they were both looking forward to the rest of the year.
Last school year, Orientation was all virtual and students mostly stayed in their dorms, so the class of 2024 was not given the same experience as previous years. Given the lack of in-person interaction throughout campus, many students felt the strain it had socially. It was harder for everyone to make friends and connect with professors. Not only that, but it took away a lot of the excitement of being on campus for the class of 2024. Events such as the Crab Feast are working to counteract the effect of COVID-19 and a virtual year on-campus life.
First-year students that went to the event had a great time. Shelby Bennett (C’25) mentioned that she saw people “making new friends and sparking up conversations with others,” some of which probably would not have met if not for the Crab Feast bringing them together. Even students who did not go to the event to eat could have a good time by talking to friends and making new connections.
Even though the weather was less than perfect, the event was a huge success. Hopefully, the university is able to continue to hold events such as this to reinforce a sense of togetherness and community that the Mount is known for. Throughout campus, students are looking forward to seeing what else this school year has in store, both academically and socially, as the campus continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19.