Gonzaga’s beloved SpikeNites is adjusting to the new COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the university as students transition to online, in-person, or hybrid learning.
SpikeNites, which is run by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), hosts weekend activities for students to partake in.
Delaney Carr, an incoming junior said SpikeNites events are social gatherings for students to help de-stress after a week of studying.
“SpikeNites are social events and activities organized by students and staff to create an opportunity for GU students to have fun, try a new activity, or participate in a hobby they already love to do," Carr said. "There’s an array of SpikeNites varying from silent disco to gingerbread house making around Christmas time. There’s a lot of thought and effort put into these events to let students have fun after studying all week."
Even though SpikeNites will look a little different, Zags still encourage underclassmen and incoming freshmen to attend the events virtually.
“As a freshman, I don’t think there’s any harm in attending some SpikeNites to see what they’re like and to see if you want to continue to participate in those events throughout the rest of the year,” Carr said.“I feel like anyone should try any of the SpikeNites that interest them, and if they don’t like it then they now know and don’t have to participate if they don’t want to. If they don’t try it they won’t know if they’re fun for them or not.”
Lucy Reed, student coordinator and event planner for SpikeNites, said that they plan on having virtual events with the possibility of Grab ‘n Go activities for students on campus to pick up.
“We are planning on doing virtual events, kind of like how we did after spring break,” Reed said.
Virtual events in the past have been Jeopardy, at-home arts and crafts, Kahoot, virtual scavenger hunts and a virtual escape room.
Carr, who has attended many SpikeNites events during her years at GU, said virtual experiences change the interaction between students at these activities.
“However the virtual experience can almost make it easier to work or team up with others for SpikeNites and that can form a bond between students as well,” Carr said.
The number of students who attended the SpikeNites events during the spring was down Reed said. This is one of the challenges they hope to overcome in the fall, seeing more students interact with the virtual events.
“[SpikeNites] is a huge part of Gonzaga for a lot of people. Having something to do every night of the week. I think it is really important to keep that going even though we’ll be at home,” Reed said.
SpikeNites events bring a sense of community to students.
“It’s a great way to meet other Zags who might be interested in similar things to you,” junior, Zach Bowers said in an email. “I’ve definitely met a few big-time friends from a few SpikeNite events, plus it's a nice way to clear your mind when classes get busy.”
Events are subject to change, Reed said, but they have events planned out to Thanksgiving. The results of the survey sent out by President Thayne McCulloh on Aug. 3 will help SpikeNites determine if they are able to go forward with small group activities on campus or if events will have to be online.
“Then we will know if there are enough people on campus, who are interested, for it to make sense to keep those events,” Reed said
The first SpikeNite event is planned to take place with First-Year Experience during the planned orientation for incoming students.
Back by popular demand, Bingo will be hosted twice by SpikeNites during the fall semester Reed said.
Reed hopes that SpikeNites will help get students excited about coming back to school and provide them with some normalcy going forward.
Follow SpikeNites on Instagram, @spikenites, or look out for MorningMail, to see when the Fall semester activities are posted.