Welcome Back Bash brings Fox Cities campus to life

Kelly Hueckman, Staff Writer

Kelly Hueckman / Advance-Titan
Fox Cities Students were given the opportunity to get the college experience that many of them didn’t have due to the pandemic.

On Thursday Sept. 15, the UW Oshkosh-Fox Cities campus celebrated the beginning of the semester with their annual Welcome Back Bash.

Although the event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, incoming and continuing students were able to attend this year’s bash held in the Fox Cities campus courtyard.

Students were greeted with free food, yard games and music, which acted as a relaxing break between classes.

Raffle tickets were also handed out to students attending the event to put toward prizes including gift cards, Titan Dollars and school swag.

Upon entering the courtyard, students could explore a number of booths set up by the United States National Guard, The Intersection and the student government to provide information about their respective organizations and increase engagement in the community.

As students conversed with each other, competed in yard games and decorated walkways with chalk, this event posed a stark difference from the 2020-2021 school year.

With online classes and cancelled club meetings, there was very little student interaction.
This year, the newly-hired Fox Cities student life coordinator, Amanda Doperalski, has big plans to increase student involvement on campus.

“I want students to get the college experience that they want,” Doperalski said while describing her goals for this school year.

Doperalski said that this is usually done by student organizations and leadership positions that help students get connected not only with one another, but with professors and other networks.

A range of student athlete opportunities are provided with men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball and men’s basketball teams.

Although the Fox Cities campus currently offers a multitude of student organizations, including Fox Student Association, Chemistry Club and the Campus Activities board, students are also welcome to create their own official or unofficial organization.

As a two-year school, the Fox Cities campus doesn’t have many students that were able to experience the school’s culture before the pandemic.

Sophomore Lexi Bestol, however, was enrolled pre-COVID-19 allowing her to gauge the student engagement on campus before COVID-19 restrictions were placed.

“I think Fox does a good job trying to get everyone to intermingle and communicate with each other,” Bestol said, reminiscing on Fox volleyball games, movie nights and theatre productions.
“I think that we will get more of that. It’s just a matter of reimagining life after COVID-19”

As the campus begins to rebuild student life from last year’s restrictions, Doperalski is eager to find out what students are interested in and let them know what the Fox Cities campus offers.

Doperalski aims to create an updated board on all activities and organizations that are offered to students while also creating a system for students to give their input on what they would like to see on campus.

She explained that joining student organizations is the best way to meet new people and be involved in the campus community.

So, what can students take to create the college experience they want?

To Doperalski, this means using provided resources, connections and opportunities to achieve desired outcomes.

“It means being comfortable with being uncomfortable,” she said.