Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union (TRUSU) hosted its first online game night for students far and wide to participate in, bringing students together for a night of COVID-19 safe socializing. TRUSU held the game night on Nov. 25.
The students played Settlers of Catan, a popular board game where the goal is to earn points based on how many villages you have.
TRUSU had many students participate in the event, and groups of students based on skill level branched off to play the game.
Keegan Lawrence, Vice-President Internal at TRUSU, said, “It went really well. We had about 43 people sign-up originally, and we had over 20 people join the session, so overall very successful.”
This game night is also not just for experts. TRUSU made it easy for beginners to join and learn the game’s ropes and made it possible for ‘Catan experts’ to join in on the fun.
Lawrence said, “when students originally registered, they indicated which level they were capable of playing at. Some players had never played before, and some had played a few times and others identified as experts.”
“We split them into breakout rooms based on how they played, and for the players that hadn’t played before, we just watched a quick introductory video with them, and then we put them into a breakout room as well to play,” Lawrence said.
Students could communicate using the video-platform Zoom and then played the game using the online platform Colonist.io. Lawrence added, “it was kind of like two simultaneous programs at once.”
TRUSU hopes that they can do this event more often in the coming year, as it was easy to do and had a strong turnout.
Lawrence said, “the Entertainment committee takes back the feedback we got from this game night, and we’ll discuss other alternatives for future game night events. We’ll be likely to have some more in the future.”
TRUSU also hopes that this event can help bring students together and foster connections between them and TRU, considering many students are studying far from campus this year.
Lawrence said, “We’re exploring as many options as we can to give students [the ability to connect]. It doesn’t take a lot of hours to put on and plan.” Lawrence added, “if there are only a handful of students that come and play, it’s still worthwhile to put on, in my opinion. If a lot of students come, even better.”
When describing how the event is laid out, Lawrence said, “they would sign up before the event, and then they would indicate their skill level of the game we plan on playing.” He added, “we would all meet collectively at the start, introduce each other and then they would be put into breakout rooms of smaller groups and then just play the game.”
TRUSU hopes to do more games in the future and try out a variety of games to appeal to all students.
Lawrence said, “We’ll always give students an opportunity to learn if they’ve never played the game before.” Lawrence added, “we’re going to leave it open for now for which games we’re going to decide in future events. They’ll definitely be pretty common games for the most part.”
TRUSU will be expanding on its current programs in the future and hopes more events will come in the new year. For an idea of what’s coming up, be sure to check out TRUSU’s website for more information.