The continuation of SpikeNites online is providing students with a sense of community and normalcy during the ongoing events of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Michaela Johnson, program coordinator at the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), said that she believes moving SpikeNites online will help students connect with each other and will provide students with stability during the final weekends of the semester. 

They know who we are, they know when we happen and they know what we do," Johnson said. "By providing these programs virtually, they can continue to come together and be a part of the Gonzaga Community but from different locations."

The transition online has been difficult for many departments at GU and Johnson said it has been a challenge for their team as well to continue SpikeNites virtually.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced them to get creative with event planning, but they have GU student's best interest at heart, as they carry out SpikeNites. 

“Our goal as a team is to stay consistent in providing our student body with a creative, safe and inclusive environment that students can come together,” Johnson said. 

The SpikeNites team at CSI has planned six events for the remainder of the semester. There will be a virtual Kahoot, scavenger hunt, virtual escape room, virtual craft night, paint night and "Jeopardy!". 

These events run every Friday and Saturday night starting April 3 to April 25 and begin at 9 p.m.

To attend the virtual SpikeNites students must RSVP through Zagtivities from which they will receive a link to access and participate in the event. 

Johnson said they will use Zoom for Kahoot and Jeopardy, Google forms for the scavenger hunt, a link from the vendor that puts on the escape room, and for the craft and paint night, students will be sent a “craft package” at their doorstep with all the supplies they need to complete the activity. 

Because the events are online, space is limited, so Johnson said there is a cap on how many people can sign up. 

GU sophomore, Delaney Carr, said she has gone to multiple SpikeNites events and plans on attending the virtual events now that she has some more time on her hands. 

“I like [SpikeNites] because it’s a great opportunity to do stuff I’m interested in but may not always have time for, paint night for example, and it’s free so that’s always a bonus,” Carr said. 

Despite having extra time, however, Johnson said attendance online is lower than when events took place on campus. 

Caleb Yoder, a sophomore at GU, said he does not plan on attending any SpikeNites online even though he would go to the events on campus. 

“It's hard to remember they're happening now that I'm not on campus,” Yoder said. 

He also said his favorite part of SpikeNite events was being with his friends and now that he cannot be with them during the events he doesn’t feel the desire to attend. 

“I totally understand SpikeNites is doing everything they can given the circumstances, but for me a big reason to go is to meet up with friends and do something together in person," Yoder said. "Being online, I think they lose a big part of that appeal."

If you want to attend any of the SpikeNite events, Johnson said to RSVP on Zagtivities. 

“We are requesting that students RSVP to the event they are wanting to attend," Johnson said. "We will reach out to students about three to five days before the event happens to give them full details about what to expect."

Hannah Hislop is a staff writer.

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