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Students plan for fall break under COVID-19 regulations

This fall break, Colby’s campus will look a lot different than it has in past years. Instead of homesick first years looking forward to their first trip home and students figuring out carpooling plans amongst their neighboring New England towns, the campus will remain populated by

Colby students.

In an email to the Colby student body on June 30, President David Greene announced that in-person classes would resume in the fall semester and outlined some of the changes included in the College’s return to campus plans.

In the same email, President Greene wrote, “one consequence of this will be that we will ask all students to stay on campus during October break. We are committed to making this a ‘staycation’ with great programs to allow students to decompress mid-semester.”

Despite announcing the plans to keep students on campus three months ago, with the COVID-19 still ravaging the country from coast-to-coast, the logic behind keeping students from leaving the “Colby bubble,” where students can get tested twice a week, is still valid. Students who need to leave Maine for any reason must seek prior approval and are required to quarantine for seven days upon return.

As fall break rapidly approaches, the traditional four-day break extending from October 10 to 13 this year, the College has planned a variety of activities to keep students engaged and relaxed during the well-deserved break.

Campus Life and the Student Programming Board (SPB) have both released a lineup of events to help keep students on campus over the break. One of the highlights of the weekend includes a Colby exclusive comedy fest headlined by former Saturday Night Live cast member Jay Pharaoh on Saturday and current cast member Colin Jost, who hosts the Weekend Update segment, on Monday.

The event is highly anticipated by Colby students, and students can attend either virtually or through an in-person screening on Miller lawn, with the comedians joining virtually.

In an interview with The Colby Echo, Jordan Lawlor `22, the president of SPB, said that a live stream of the question and answer session with the comedians will be held on Miller Lawn with the option to submit questions to the either Pharaoh or Jost via the QR code on the event poster.

On Saturday, SPB will also be hosting Apple Fest, rebranded from Fall Fest last year. The apple-themed festival on Dana Lawn will feature a plethora of apple desserts including apple cider doughnuts from the Apple Farm in Fairfield and apple pies from the Engine 5 Bakehouse in Waterville.

The festival will also include a socially distant and COVID-19-safe apple bobbing competition where each participant will have their own bucket.

Lawlor also mentioned that security will be running shuttles from campus to the Apple Farm in Fairfield for students looking to go apple picking. Vouchers for apples will also be available to students.

Apple Fest will be followed by the SPB Carnival on Sunday. The carnival will offer ring tosses, pumpkin painting, and a food taste test.

Lawlor described the carnival as “a very collaborative event.”

“We reached out to all the clubs on campus and asked if they wanted to host an event, so there will be an additional eight to ten clubs hosting activities as part of the carnival,” Lawlor added.

To sweeten the deal, SPB offered one-time funding to the clubs so that the clubs would not have to dig into their already tight budgets.

Lawlor noted the struggle of creating an event that balances being accessible to all students while also ensuring that social distancing guidelines are met.

She said a lot of the events hosted by SPB will require prior sign-up to ensure spaces are not overcrowded. In addition, the rings used for the ring toss will be sanitized after each use, and SPB has purchased new paint brushes so that students painting pumpkins will not have to share.

A staple of any SPB event at the College is the food trucks. Lawlor said that fall break will be

no different.

There will be nightly food trucks at Eustis Parking Lot from Friday through Monday night. Besides student favorites like Portland Pie, Lawlor says SPB has invited new food trucks such as the Brûlée Bike, which specializes in French desserts, and Sheba’s Wicked Kitchen from Oakland that serves tacos, poutine, and sliders.

The Colby Outing Club will also be hosting trips throughout the weekend to help Colby students remain active and outdoors. These trips offer students the opportunity to visit popular Maine sites. There are hikes at Acadia National Park, Mount Megunticook, and Mount Blue. Students can canoe on the Messalonskee, walk on Popham Beach, or drink hot chocolate and watch the sun set on French Mountain.

Some students have also planned their own excursion over fall break. Lindsey Papa `21, a senior from Topsham, Maine, opted to go camping with her roommates as she could not go home this year like she is normally able to do.

“We will be driving east and camping near [the town of] Cutler so we can go hiking on the Bold Coast.” Papa explained.“I’m really looking forward to having a break from classes and taking some time to relax and get outside.”

Regardless of how students choose to spend their fall break, it should be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience marking the halfway point of the semester.


~ Fiona Huo ‘23

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