CAB aims to prevail over COVID-19


Photo submitted by: Danielle Bushman

A student participates in one of the events at the new fall fest CAB event.

Madison Graver

From wearing masks in public, to socially distancing, to having capacity limits for indoor activities, there has been a lot to adjust to in the last eight months.

Once classes were back in session, those adjustments carried over and have remained in place as COVID-19 cases continue to be an issue around the country.

One of the main changes that Ashland University students had to adapt to was the transition to mostly online classes; but classes were not the only thing being forced to change in some way.

With over 100 clubs and organizations on campus, many students spend their time getting involved in one or many of those clubs and organizations and use them as a way to connect with others on campus.

However, after the new safety guidelines were put in place, it forced those groups to alter how they conducted meetings and events.

Members of CAB participating in the Banana Splittin’ event in 2019. (Photo submitted by: Anna Orange)

The Campus Activities Board, also known as CAB, is one organization that has had to make a decent amount of adjustments in order to continue providing events for students on campus, while still staying within the required safety guidelines.

Due to guidelines that CAB events must now follow, leaders in the organization were forced to either adjust or scrap certain events that they had planned on having this semester.

Some of the more popular events, such as grocery bingo and free bowling at Luray Lanes, were able to continue but other events like pizza, pizza, pizza and banana splittin’ were forced to be canceled.

While members of CAB were disappointed to have to replace those much-loved events, they were able to create new ones to take their place.

“We’ve created a lot more homegrown events,” said Anna Orange, co-leader of CAB. “Things like trivia night and fall fest are new. We were able to come up with events quickly and people had fun planning them.”

With the statewide health and safety guidelines constantly changing in the months leading up to fall semester, CAB organizers were forced to delay their official planning process until just weeks before the beginning of the semester.

“We actually waited a long time to program because things were constantly changing over the summer,” Orange said. “It wasn’t until the end of July or beginning of August that we started programming since our advisor knew what the semester was going to look like.”

Second CAB co-leader, Sydney Good, explained that the planning committee found it somewhat difficult when it came to choosing events that they thought students would enjoy while still abiding by the guidelines.

“It was very challenging and even discouraging because every single time we came up with an idea, our advisor would remind us that we couldn’t do it because of one of the safety guidelines,” Good said. “It’s been a very interesting experience navigating what we can do during this time but I think we’ve done a pretty good job accommodating that.”

For events that are held indoors, CAB must hold their capacity between 50 to 75 students, masks are required and social distancing is enforced.

For events held outdoors, the maximum capacity is more flexible but the rules for masks and social distancing remain in place.

Despite the new guidelines, CAB intern Danielle Bushman said that students are still attending the events in decent sized numbers considering the circumstances.

“It’s definitely not as big [as previous years] but I still feel like we’re hitting the 50 people guideline,” Bushman said. “Grocery bingo is typically our largest one and it’s usually around 300 people but we did two different locations this year. The location I was at had around 75 and the other location had around 50 so it was still a good turnout, but not our best.”

Another one of the tasks that CAB members kept in mind while planning events for the semester was how they could best attempt to keep students on campus on the weekends.

AU is known for being a ‘suitcase school’ where many of its students leave campus on the weekends which was something that the administration discouraged this year due to the spread of COVID-19.

“I definitely believe that with fall break we had a bunch of things going on,” Bushman said. “It wasn’t necessarily CAB, it was Student Life, but that definitely helped encourage students to stay here over that break. We definitely try to think of different things based on what people are gonna like to try to keep them here.”

Looking ahead to next semester, CAB’s planning process is still underway and they will be monitoring any changing safety guidelines to ensure that all events are held in a fun yet safe manner.

They do assure, however, that crowd-favorite events like grocery bingo and bowling nights will be returning.

Because of how well this semester has gone, Good says that she is feeling very optimistic about how next semester will pan out.

“Honestly this semester went better than I expected,” she said. “We were really discouraged when we were trying to make events happen before we got here, but the fact that we’ve been able to remain on campus and still have our events has made me very optimistic about next semester.”

A student participates in another event that was a part of fall fest. (Photo submitted by: Danielle Bushman)

Orange also emphasized how this semester’s positive turnout is giving their planning team some much needed reassurance after the uncertainty they felt coming into fall semester.

“I know a lot of people, after seeing how well the events were attended this semester, especially within our executive group, are very excited for next semester,” she said. “We have students on our general board coming up with ideas for programming next semester and they’re really excited, so I’m definitely optimistic.”

CAB members’ main goal is to get students out on campus and enjoying the events that they put on. For any student that has never attended a CAB event, Bushman assures that you won’t want to miss out.

“I think everyone should attend a CAB event because it’s just so much fun,” she said. “You meet so many different people, you can bring your friends and everyone who’s in CAB is just very energetic and outgoing. It’s just a good way to relieve stress, forget about school, forget about what’s going on in the world and just have fun.”