Tag: Lawrence students

Luminaries light up Main Hall entrance to welcome new students to Lawrence

Luminaries line the walkway and steps in front of Main Hall Sunday night. (Photos by Danny Damiani)

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

The light that glowed from the steps and walkway in front of Main Hall on Sunday night sent a welcoming message to the more than 400 first-year and transfer students who will be beginning their studies at Lawrence University today.

In a reimagining of the traditional presidential handshake, the students made their way to the president’s house, where President Mark Burstein greeted each one on the lawn – masks on, from 6 feet apart – welcoming them to Lawrence and presenting them with a luminary. The students then brought the luminary to the front of Main Hall, placing it with those of their classmates.

Welcome Week greets first-year students. Read more here.

“Bring Your Light” was the theme. With safety protocols in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the presidential handshake ceremony that usually happens the night before classes begin could not take place in its usual way. Thus, it was reimagined in a way that still allowed each first-year student to be personally welcomed by the president.

“It’s an incredibly important moment in the student experience,” Burstein said. “It gave me a chance to talk with every first-year student.”

The process began before the sun went down, but by the time the more than 400 luminaries were in place, the lights were glowing in the dark, lighting the way into a new journey.

Eighty-six luminaries were placed on the Main Hall steps to represent the first-year students who opted to study remotely during Fall Term. The students who are on campus then walked with their luminaries from the president’s house, traversing campus before placing them along the sidewalk leading from the steps.

Perhaps a new tradition was born.

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

From student leaders: 8 tips for living life on campus amid this pandemic

Signage is in place, adding reminders to the new protocols on campus. (Photos by Danny Damiani)

The Lawrence University Community Council’s Student Welfare Committee has a message of unity as students return to campus for Fall Term: We are Lawrentians, and we are up to the challenge of protecting our community.

With more than 850 students expected to be living on campus amid new safety protocols put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19, the commitment to the practices set forth in the Lawrence Campus Community Pledge will be key to keeping campus as open as possible, said committee chair Sterling Clarke Elvin Ambrosius ’22.

Challenges, excitement mix as Fall Term arrives: Read more here.

Welcome Week greets Class of 2024. Read more here.

The Student Welfare Committee shares eight ways you can help protect the Lawrence community:

1. Stay within Lawrence community as much as possible. 

Bellin Health’s testing of every student, faculty, and staff member on campus, combined with plans to use quarantine and isolation spaces on campus, gives us the best chance of keeping the spread of the virus in check. If you must leave campus, remember to follow the same safety protocols you do on campus like wearing masks, maintaining social distance, avoiding crowded spaces.

2. Avoid large gatherings like parties. Don’t go to bars.

We need to think about our social priorities in a different way. There are lots of creative opportunities for fun and spending time with one another in a safe manner — sticking with our pods or taking part in larger campus events designed with physical distancing and other safety practices in place. Outdoor yoga, anyone?

A yoga class is conducted Friday on Main Hall Green.

3. Wear a mask. 

This is an easy one. Make it part of your routine when you leave your room in the morning. Phone, LU ID, wallet, mask. Make your mask a fashion statement. Have fun with it. Show if off. Wear it proudly.

4. You’re paying for your education, so don’t waste your money.

We all know this pandemic life isn’t ideal, here on campus or anywhere else. But we’re still Lawrentians. We’re in class with brilliant professors and sharing spaces – virtual or in person – with smart, curious, open-minded, diverse, and amazing classmates. Let’s all rise to the occasion together. We’ll be all the smarter for it. 

5. Have the courage to hold others accountable.

There’s been a lot of chatter among students at campuses across the country about how to respond to poor choices by fellow students. To snitch or not to snitch. Let’s not look at it that way. Let’s be respectful but vigilant. Let’s be appreciative when someone reminds us of the Pledge we signed. It’s not about me, it’s about we. The University has laid out consequences for students, faculty, and staff who fail to abide by the Pledge. Let’s work together, as a community, to make that unnecessary.

6. Be a responsible community member.

The decisions we make matter. We are connected to others on campus. And the campus is connected to those who call Appleton home. And Appleton to the greater Fox Valley. And so on. Let’s take pride in Lawrence setting the example of what is possible as we find our way through this pandemic.  

7. Avoid public transportation once in Appleton.

Use the LU Shuttle instead. It’s free! The LUCC Student Welfare Committee is running the shuttle to pick up students from Appleton International Airport and the Appleton Bus Terminal. There’s no need to grab a ride share. The shuttle is free, and it comes with snacks. Safety practices will be in place. It’s be available for students returning to campus now through Sept. 12.

8. Think of others and be generous.

We all need to think about how our actions affect everyone. Never before has it been clearer that we are a community, that we’re all connected in a myriad of ways despite our different interests, backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences. That togetherness is something we should be celebrating right now. The things that drew us to Lawrence – the chance to be a small, tight-knit, enthusiastic, and, yes, wonderfully quirky community on this gorgeous liberal arts campus – will be the things that see us through these difficult times.

These 13 beloved traditions keep Lawrentians connected

The Class of 2020 will hand off yellow to the Class of 2024 in the coming days, keeping the class colors tradition alive.

Story by Allison Boshell ’21

We have many traditions at Lawrence University that have carried on through the years. As we prepare to begin a new academic year, let’s celebrate 13 of them.

Allow me to be your tour guide as Lawrence welcomes the Class of 2024 with Welcome Week festivities that begin on Tuesday.

A quick aside: Many student organizations on campus have their own beloved traditions that are worth exploring. We aren’t going to get into all of those here. Rather, these are 13 annual campus-wide staples that are part of the Lawrentian experience. Some began well over a century ago and some were established more recently, but all are now part of what makes Lawrence so special.

The safety protocols in place during Fall Term to restrict the spread of COVID-19 will alter or postpone some of these traditions this year. But all are expected to carry on, even if they have to take a brief hiatus.

President’s handshake 

President Mark Burstein greets every incoming first-year student with a handshake during Welcome Week. It’ll be restructured this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the spirit of the tradition will live on. A presidential handshake also happens at Commencement, marking the other end of the Lawrence journey.

At the close of Welcome Week, before returning students move into the residence halls, the University president personally welcomes the incoming class to Lawrence in an event at Memorial Chapel, shaking each new student’s hand. This ceremony is a way to symbolize you joining the Lawrence community, similar to how seniors at commencement shake the president’s hand again to celebrate graduation. As a freshman, this ceremony made me feel like there was a clear beginning, a sign of my transition into college, where I would soon experience and learn more things than I could have ever imagined. 

LU Zoo Days 

The dunk tank is part of Zoo Days, a Spring Term tradition.

Organized by our student events organization SOUP during Spring Term when the weather is starting to warm up, Lawrentians from all over campus congregate on Ormsby Green to play games, listen to music, and enjoy an afternoon of fun in the sun. The best part about Zoo Days is that all of the money raised by student clubs and organizations goes toward nonprofit causes. Favorite things to do at Zoo Days include getting soaked by the “dunk tank,” having a hot dog at the barbecue, and making sand art. 

Winter Carnival 

The President’s Ball, the highlight of Winter Carnival, provides a chance to dress up and hit the dance floor.

Winter Carnival is a spark of warm joy in the cold of Winter Term here at Lawrence. Activities for the carnival vary year to year, from ice sculpting to building gingerbread houses to playing grocery BINGO. One of the most exciting events of the year comes at the end of Winter Carnival, when President’s Ball is held. It’s a night of dancing to a live jazz band and eating chocolate fondue. President’s Ball takes the cake because all students and faculty get dressed to the nines. It’s always exciting to see students get out of their winter clothes and study sweatpants and into their best formal wear. It’s the best night of Winter Term.  

LUaroo 

Memorial Day Weekend is all about music and sun on the quad. The annual music festival, arriving just before Spring Term finals, is a favorite for many students.

Lawrentians look forward to Memorial Day weekend. Why? Because LUaroo, the much-anticipated, weekend-long mini music festival on the quad, is the highlight of all the annual events at Lawrence. Coming to enjoy artists from around the Midwest — and even bands from our own Conservatory of Music — students lay out on the quad or dance with friends from morning until night all weekend long. It’s a great stress-breaker right before Spring Term finals. LUaroo is by far my favorite event of the year because the whole campus comes together. One year there was a taco truck that came to campus, and Chicago-based artists Ric Wilson and Kweku Collins were spectacular as they headlined the festival. Great memories.

Cabaret 

International students come together on stage each year to present a spectacular showcase of talents and customs from around the world.

Lawrence’s international students come together each year to put on a show of cultural expressions. Performed in Stansbury Theatre, the spectacle includes original and traditional dance choreography, musical offerings, and fashion. The Cabaret is different every year, with a changing theme to guide the “plot” of the show. This truly is a must-see event every year. My favorite thing about Cabaret is seeing friends and classmates show off amazing talents that I never knew they had.   

Cultural Expressions

Cultural Expressions has grown into an annual tradition that marks the close of People of Color Empowerment Week on campus.

This showcase of on-campus performance talent, ranging from music to dance to spoken-word, has become a tradition over the past half dozen years, a conclusion to the annual People of Color Empowerment Week. Two years ago, the Excellence Ball was added at the front end of the week, providing bookends to a week of films, art, and speakers on issues of equity, opportunity, and inclusion.

The Rock 

The Rock, located just north of Main Hall, is the longest tradition on this list. It dates back to 1895.

The 2-ton granite boulder next to Main Hall is back in its rightful place after having gone missing for about 20 years. The Rock was brought to campus 124 years ago by the Class of 1895 after students found it on a geology trip in New London, Wisconsin. It made its debut next to Main Hall a short time later. The Rock has been painted countless times for all kinds of causes. It’s been the subject of pranks and fraternity feuds, where it has been guarded and dragged across campus, and, yes, stolen. But mostly painted. We are excited to see the different ways students will paint it in the days, weeks, and years to come. 

Ormsby Lake 

The lawn in front of Ormsby Hall, just west of Main Hall (seen here), is transformed into an ice rink each winter. It draws ice skaters and broom ball combatants.

More like Ormsby Ice Rink during the winter. This classic nod to winter is a hot spot for fun on Ormsby Green during January and February. From skating and broomball to frolicking with friends, students come to the “lake” to get a break from studying during the dark days of Winter Term. I personally enjoy seeing my fellow Lawrentians participate in games on Ormsby Lake, some just trying to run or walk across the ice without falling.  

Class Colors 

Each class is assigned one of four colors. They rotate, with the graduating class handing off its color to the incoming class. It’s a tradition that dates back to the days of Milwaukee-Downer College.

Red, yellow, green, and purple: the class colors originate from a Milwaukee-Downer College tradition. Class colors at Milwaukee-Downer were given to each class to provide them a sense of unity, a tradition Lawrence would eventually embrace. The first colors at Lawrence were assigned in 1988, 24 years after the 1964 merger. It is cherished to this day. Each new class inherits the color of the newly graduated class, presented during Welcome Week in Memorial Chapel. Every new first-year class holds the flag in the class photo at the beginning of the year. My class color is purple, and at the beginning of my freshman year each student was given a purple T-shirt decorated with our graduation year.  

Weekends at Björklunden 

A weekend at Bjorklunden has been a cherished tradition for generations of Lawrence students.

Going to Björklunden for a weekend during a rigorous term of studying is a breath of fresh air all Lawrentians enjoy. Located in Door County, on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, Björklunden is a Swedish-inspired lodge long popular among alumni and students. Whether it’s classes, clubs, organizations, or residence halls making the trip, it’s going to be both a learning and relaxing experience. Visiting “Björk,” as students call it, is always an honor because no other college I have heard of has a lodge on a 425-acre estate that students are free to go to on the weekends. When I have gone to Björk, I usually study by the fire, or go for walks by the lake, even in the cold of winter. It’s a treasured tradition.  

The Honor Code 

Lawrence students live by the Honor Code. It’s part of being a Lawrentian.

On each paper or project a Lawrentian submits, you can see “IHRTLUHC” adorning the cover, which stands for “I hereby reaffirm the Lawrence University Honor Code.” Upon their arrival to campus, each student commits themselves to the Honor Code: “No Lawrence student will unfairly advance their own academic performance or in any way limit or impede the academic pursuits of other students of the Lawrence community.” This code is what binds Lawrentians together academically and prompts social responsibility in all aspects of life. At the beginning of freshman year, every student is required to sign the Honor Code, which ties them to the Lawrence community through a fundamental social promise that shows they not only take their own development seriously but the development of their peers as well.  

The Viking Room 

For more than 50 years now, the Viking Room has been an on-campus hangout for students of age. Carving their names into the furniture is part of the tradition.

Founded in 1969 as a bar, the Viking Room (fondly referred to as the VR) is one of the campus’ eclectic, prime hang-out spots for students ages 21+. Located in the basement of Memorial Hall, the VR is managed, tended, and stocked by students who are looking for a fun service experience on campus. Although it first became a bar in 1969, the VR served as a popular lounge on campus for many years prior to that. It has carved out a rich history—literally. Just look for yourself! Climb into the booths or sit at the wooden tables and you can see the surfaces are covered in scratched signatures and carvings from students throughout Lawrence’s history.   

The Great Midwest Trivia Contest 

The Great Midwest Trivia Contest continues to connect current and former Lawrentians.

Established in 1966, this tradition is fully student run, but teams from all around the world participate annually. Broadcast online from Lawrence’s WLFM radio station in the Music-Drama Center, the Great Midwest Trivia Contest is a weekend-long event that is not for the weak of heart. Running around the clock and overseen by a team of dedicated trivia masters, it’s an annual frenzy of bizarre and off-the-beaten-path trivia. It remains a great connector with Lawrence alumni who return to the game year after year. Sleep is optional.  

Allison Boshell ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.

Makerspace provides huge assist as it builds needed PPE inventory for campus

Angela Vanden Elzen models one of the face shields built with 3D printers in Lawrence University’s Makerspace, located in the Mudd Library. “It turned into this awesome community effort,” she said. (Photos by Danny Damiani)

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

In the scramble for an adequate supply of PPEs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence University is getting a needed boost from its own Makerspace.

Using 3D printing technology, Reference and Learning Technologies Librarian Angela Vanden Elzen and student intern Kelvin Maestre ’21 have led efforts this summer to 3D print 200 plastic face shields and 150 ear savers in the Makerspace lab inside the Mudd Library.

The Makerspace’s personal protective equipment (PPEs), as well as cloth face masks made by students through the Conservatory’s costume shop, are now being distributed on campus through Wellness Services. The face shields provide another layer of protection beyond masks and the ear savers offer a more comfortable way of securely wearing a mask.

“This work began on a more exploratory level at the start of the summer,” Vanden Elzen said of the Makerspace efforts. “We found 3D printable files for both the ear savers and the face shield visors on the NIH (National Institutes of Health) 3D print exchange. They’ve created a special COVID-19 response collection of objects that have either been tested for clinical use or community use. It was important for us to find designs that were created by scientists and professionals in the medical field.”

Kelvin Maestre ’21 joined Angela Vanden Elzen in the Makerspace this summer in the building of face shields and ear savers, adding to needed PPE inventory on the Lawrence University campus.

Vanden Elzen and Maestre went to work prepping the Makerspace technology to make large batches on the 3D printers. That proved to be pretty easy for the ear savers, where they could print five at a time using two printers. Additional parts or modifications weren’t needed.

The face shields production, meanwhile, was a different story. Initially, only two would fit on a printer at a time, so Maestre, an anthropology major from Revere, Massachusetts, explored ways to modify the process. When he was done, they were able to print 16 at a time, using all three of the 3D printers.

Read more about Makerspace possibilities here.

“After doing some research, I learned how to print the shields in stacks of 16,” Maestre said. “All you need is the right amount of gap between each shield that would allow you to separate them. In our case, the shield was 5 millimeters tall and we used a .2 millimeter layer height to print, so we used a gap of .21 millimeter between each shield to make them separable.”

After Maestre’s ingenuity got production rolling, it was time to recruit some help for the visor construction, which came enthusiastically from other workers in the library.

“It takes a bit of time to carefully separate the visors and sand any rough edges or bumps from the printing process to make them comfortable to wear,” Vanden Elzen said. “The shields then need the actual shield part. We ordered plastic folder covers that each need to be 3-hole punched. The finishing piece is two looped-together rubber bands to hold the visor on the wearer’s head.”

In all, 200 plastic face shields and 150 ear savers were created in Makerspace.

When she asked other library staff members if they might be willing to help if they had any extra time, the response was immediate. And enthusiastic.

Vanden Elzen and Maestre then set up four stations in front of the Makerspace to allow for social distancing. They filled the tables with the tools and supplies needed to make the visors, along with a container of sanitizing wipes. 

“I absolutely love what this project has turned into,” Vanden Elzen said. “It started with Erin Buenzli (director of wellness and recreation) reaching out to Kelvin and me in the Makerspace to see if we could help provide PPEs, and then it turned into this awesome community effort.”

The Makerspace-produced PPEs will benefit the Lawrence community without drawing down the supply elsewhere in the Fox Valley. Wellness Services has the growing inventory of ear savers, masks, and face shields. Department supervisors, employees, and students on campus can request them by using the mask-request web form or by e-mailing Buenzli.

“I’m excited to be using our resources so that we don’t use PPE supplies that are needed elsewhere,” Buenzli said. “The PPEs will help protect our essential workers, and the ear savers will create a better fitting and more comfortable mask.”

Vanden Elzen said the Makerspace is also ready to lend a hand if anyone on campus is in need of custom-built PPEs.

“If it’s something we can 3D print, sew, or laser cut, we’re happy to help,” she said.

The PPE project, Vanden Elzen said, is further evidence of what the Makerspace can become as technologies advance and more students embrace the possibilities.

“It seems like we’re learning new things all the time about what these tools can do,” she said.

“Making 200 shields has been a long process, but I already feel good knowing that our work will be directly helping other students stay safe,” Maestre said.

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

Lawrence students tap into creativity during summer of quarantine

Moreau Halliburton ’22 has channeled her love of beading into virtual classes for children.

Story by Awa Badiane ’21

Lawrence University students have been getting creative during this summer of quarantine.

The need to socially distance ourselves to minimize the spread of COVID-19 has drastically shifted the way we interact. Our new normal during the pandemic has had a direct impact on summer; most internships are now remote and many were outright canceled.

But Lawrentians, hunkered down at home, have not let this stop them from getting the most out of summer. They’ve launched online classes, followed their passions, honed their skills, and found new ways to connect. We’re sharing some examples here.

Beading, anyone?  

Moreau Halliburton ’22

Moreau Halliburton ’22 of Los Angeles has been beading for more than five years, and during our summer in quarantine has found a way to share that talent with the world.  

“I started an online beading camp for ages 7 to 13,” Halliburton said. “I order the supplies ahead of time, organize them into individual care packages, and send boxes to the kids who sign up. I teach them how to make simple jewelry, bake their own beads, and so much more.” 

Halliburton hosts a Zoom session with the campers once a week, teaching them a new beading skill each time. And outside of the Zoom sessions, the campers can continue learning, as Halliburton creates guided videos, Beading With Moreau, with step-by-step instructions.  

“I thought it would be difficult to teach young kids how to make jewelry online, but with a lot of thought and a little creativity, I cracked the code,” Halliburton said. “My camp has shown to be great for these times of separation because it creates this beautiful sense of community … through screens.” 

Halliburton’s old elementary school reached out and asked about hosting a virtual course for their summer camps. After hosting one course, Halliburton was all in.

“We’ve all been trained to push our creativity aside and settle down into jobs, but creativity is so important and valuable,” Halliburton said. “I bet people would get more job offers if they were more comfortable trying new things and weren’t afraid to unlock their creativity. I want kids to know that there are adults in the world using their art to make a difference, and they can do the same right now.” 

Halliburton has even found a way to teach the campers about what is happening in the world today through the classes.  

“An example is my Woke Beading Day theme, where I have my kids make pieces in relation to diversity and love across cultures, along with my Juneteenth Celebration Day theme,” Halliburton said. “I also brainstorm with the kids at the end of camp to think about something they love to do and how they can use that talent or activity to create positive change. They are so enthusiastic, which leaves me very hopeful for the future.” 

Joys of 3-D printing  

Prince Mukuna ’22

Prince Mukuna ’22 of Loganville, Georgia, first learned about 3-D printing in middle school, but he wasn’t able to use a 3-D printer until his first year at Lawrence. Now, during this summer in quarantine, Mukuna has lots of free time and has been getting creative with his own 3-D printer.  

“This technology allows me to bring ideas to life almost instantly – well, not quite instant,” Mukuna said. “During quarantine, I’ve been using a 3-D printer to print plant pots and planters for my mom’s small business, a printed football thigh pad model that can be used in a game, phone cases, wall decor, and oddly enough … a lamp shade.” 

Mukuna has used his 3-D printing skills as an outlet for his creativity and is even thinking of ways to bring it into the classroom.  

“I’m excited to see how I can use it more in my studies as well,” Mukuna said. “I enjoy the process of 3-D rendering to give ideas and thoughts real form.” 

Early childhood experience

Averie Miller ’22

Averie Miller ’22 of Chicago had plans to be a preschool teacher this summer, but that opportunity was canceled because of the pandemic. But this did not stop Miller from getting to do what she loves, working with kids.  

“I have picked up nannying for two amazing kids— one is 6 and the other is 2 years old,” said Miller. “I started June 15th; after my normal summer job of working with preschoolers was canceled, this family contacted me to help them out.”  

Miller has enjoyed the opportunity to care for the two kids and hopes to one day make caring for children her career.  

“I love what I’m doing since I’m planning to be an early childhood educator,” Miller said. “And we’ve done many fun things like bike riding around the neighborhood, swimming in the back yard, and playing games.” 

Care for your hair 

Willie Sturgis ’23

Willie Sturgis ’23 of Champaign, Illinois, has created a Hair Growth account on Instagram and other social media platforms with his younger sister, to share information on how to better take care of your hair.  

“We started this account in early July,” Sturgis said. “With prices rising and dropping, as well as people staying indoors, we understand that students and their families have major priorities in relation to spending and consuming, leaving hair care a priority toward the bottom of the list. Our goal is to offer free, simple ways a student can spend their money on natural, satisfying, yet cost-efficient products.”  

Their page, @willie.taylor.co, provides information on products, instructions for different hair styles, and tips for people with textured hair, making hair care a lot easier.   

“We wanted to share simple, natural ways students can maintain their hairstyles while handling their major priorities,” Sturgis said. “We love what we are doing, and we are getting a lot of feedback and starting to build an audience.”  

Daily journaling

Quentin Washington ’21

Trying to keep up with everything happening in the world right now can be overwhelming. Quentin Washington ’21 of New York recognized this and has taken on journaling to process everything. It’s a chance to de-stress.  

“I journaled to make sense of the world around me and my emotions related to what was happening,” Washington said. “I journaled about my friendships that were evolving, romantic relationships that ended, how I planned to enter my Spring Term with an online structure and readjusting to being back home in NYC. I would journal about once or twice a day.” 

Washington has used journaling as way to not only process everything in the present, but to also reflect on past experiences, providing a chance to grow.  

“I enjoy what I do because it’s a way to not only relieve stress, but also a time capsule in a sense,” Washington said. “I get to reflect on my life during different eras and see how I have grown as a person. I feel I have learned a lot about myself, who I was and where I want to go as I continue to write on a daily basis.” 

Staying connected

Sabrina Salas ’22

Staying connected with peers can be difficult these days. But Sabrina Salas ’22 of New York has made it part of her daily routine to stay connected with friends. 

“I’ve never been much of a texter, so it’s hard for me to reach out to a friend through text,” Salas said. “Instead, I call people. During quarantine, I got into the habit of Facetiming or being Facetimed by my friends all the time (both high school and college friends). Sometimes, I would speak to four or five people a day.” 

Salas has found ways to make short, quick interactions more meaningful by going the extra mile and calling or sending a voice note.

“I just prefer to hear people’s voices,” Salas said.  

“I am the kind of person who thrives off of other people’s energies, so my energy can drain pretty quickly when I’m not around people. Talking to other people instantly boosts my mood.” 

Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.

Students pitch in to make cloth masks to keep Lawrence community safe

Members of the Lawrence community and visitors to campus have been asked to wear masks in shared spaces. Students in the costume shop, spread across the country, have pitched in by making more than 350 cloth masks. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Isabella Mariani ’21

Being quarantined isn’t stopping Lawrentians from stepping up for the health and safety of the campus community. Six students employed in the costume shop have constructed more than 350 cloth face masks so far for students and staff who are on campus.

Director of Wellness and Recreation Erin Buenzli helped orchestrate the mask-making operation. With the threat of COVID-19 spread an ongoing concern and the need for masks to be worn in shared spaces on campus, she worked with Lawrence’s COVID-19 Management Team on the idea of supplying masks to Lawrence community members who need to be on campus. This idea reached the costume shop, where six students took on the challenge during Spring Term to make as many masks as they could.

“I love the collaboration and the ingenuity of students,” Buenzli said. “The fact that we can reach across departments to look at an issue and be creative and solve it. It’s been fun to be a part of.”

The masks have been distributed to students, faculty, and staff as needed. Signage has been placed throughout campus reminding anyone on campus grounds to wear a mask.

Five of the six students made the masks remotely from home and sent them to campus. The work continues this summer.

Andrea Lara ‘21 shipped her work from her Milwaukee home-turned-workspace. Combating a global pandemic by making more than 50 face masks probably wasn’t on her mind when she learned to sew in the costume shop in Fall 2017. But Lara embraced the work wholeheartedly.

For one, she’s always been driven by a simple desire to help others. Secondly, she’s seen the pandemic taking its toll around her in Milwaukee. That experience motivated her to be an agent of change.

“Sometimes it can feel overwhelming that I don’t have any power,” Lara said. “Sometimes the only way I feel like I can take control is to do something to help others stay safe.”

Lara is a psychology and theater double major. Like the other students involved in this project, she found a marriage between her education and reaching out to help others that goes beyond employing sewing skills.

“As a psych major, I really focus on the betterment of people,” Lara said. “In particular, disenfranchised people who don’t have access to resources. That’s really important to me. And as a costume designer and theater major, it’s important to show how well you can work and adapt under pressure.”

Never underestimate the influence of the good you put into the world. Lara’s 7-year-old brother has taken notice of her efforts.

“When he sees me making masks, he gets so excited and says, ‘We should make more so we can help more people.’ And that increases my excitement to try to help out.”

Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.

We miss you! Student writers long to return to these favorite spaces on campus

Hurvis Crossing leads into the patio outside The Café at Warch Campus Center. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Communications team

We’re all missing campus during Spring Term. With spring now fully in bloom, the yearning to walk the paths of campus, to kick back on Main Hall Green, or to enjoy food and conversation on the Warch Campus Center patio grows that much stronger.

We’ll be back together soon. We cannot wait. In the meantime, we asked the three student writers who work in the Communications office—Awa Badiane ’21, Alex Freeman ’23, and Isabella Mariani ’21—to share their favorite spaces on campus, inside or out. They’re all off campus this term as well, so this exercise provided a chance for the three of them to take their minds to some happy places.

Here are nine favorite student spaces, three from each writer, in no particular order.

1. Main Hall Green

This is a great place for studying with friends or taking naps on warm spring days. Or, just throw down a blanket, bring some snacks, and watch people walk by. There’s always a bustle of activity on Main Hall Green, from a Frisbee being tossed to music being played to games and festivals being held. (Isabella)

2. The path along the river

Whenever the warm weather arrives, I head down the staircase behind Sage Hall to the path that runs behind campus. The trees shading you from the sun and the sounds of the Fox River acting as a natural playlist make it the perfect spot to appreciate the hidden beauty of campus—either exploring with your friends or taking your own personal tour. (Alex)

3. SLUG hill

The hill overlooks the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (SLUG), and it’s a great space all year round. During the warmer months in the fall and spring terms, you can lay out a blanket on the top of the hill to do some homework. You’ll have the best view of the Fox River. And during the winter months, the hill is perfect for snow tubing. (Awa)

4. The Café at Warch

I like going to The Café in the Warch Campus Center really early in the morning with the intention of doing assignments, then getting distracted and people-watching instead. Also good for late-night snack sessions with friends. Great seating inside. Even better seating outside when the weather warms up. (Isabella)

5. Top floor of Briggs

The top floor of Briggs Hall might just be the most underrated study spot on campus. It features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Fox River. If you can snag a study table or armchair at sunset, you’re guaranteed an incredible view … which hopefully won’t distract you too much from that midterm essay. (Alex)

6. The Quad

In between all of the group houses on campus, you’ll find The Quad, a grassy hangout spot that beckons on a sunny day. Have a picnic or study amid the sunshine. The Quad also doubles as a concert venue. It is home to Lawrence’s annual LUaroo music festival, which, of course, we’re all missing this year. (Awa)

7. Fourth floor of Mudd Library

This is the best place to settle in to get some work done because it’s usually dead silent, which is something I lack here at home. The Mudd Library is filled with a variety of great spaces to study, read, or collaborate. But the fourth floor is my favorite. All that beautiful quiet. I can’t believe how much I miss it. (Isabella)

8. Memorial Chapel

There’s a reason that every major concert is held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel—the impressive acoustics and elegant design cement its place as the best on-campus site to experience music in all of its glory. From student ensembles to Jazz Weekend performances (pictured) to the amazing talents showcased during the Artist Series, Memorial Chapel reminds us regularly that having a music conservatory here adds so much to the Lawrence experience. (Alex)

9. Diversity and Intercultural Center

Ever since my freshman year, the DIC has been a great hangout spot with friends. In between class or at the end of the day, we would come together in the DIC to do homework, watch a movie, or just bond. It is always lots of fun. Plus, the DIC is a prime event space for diversity-focused organizations on campus. (Awa)

Do you have a favorite spot on campus? Share it with us on Lawrence’s social media channels.

Big chill: 8 fun winter activities that beckon, on and off campus

Olivia Sibbet '23 tosses a snowball as she plays in the snow on the Lawrence campus.
Olivia Sibbet ’22 enjoys an early snowfall on the Lawrence campus. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Alex Freeman ’23

It’s that time of year again.

Whether you’re the type to wear shorts until it drops below zero or the one who bars the windows and gets cozy under a blanket with some hot tea, one thing is certain: Lawrence makes it easy to make the most of winter.

As we move deeper into February, here are a few activities to help you take advantage of all that Lawrence has to offer in terms of winter fun.

1: Skate on Ormsby Lake

Ormsby Lake is officially frozen and open to Lawrence students. This is a classic student favorite that always comes with the changing of the seasons, so it’s time to practice some broomball, bust out the figure skates or just take a spin around the pond with a few friends.

With easy access right across from the entrance to Ormsby Hall, skating on the rink is the perfect way to brighten up a lazy Sunday or blow off some steam right after class. And don’t worry if you left your skates at home (or never had any to begin with) — you can pick up some skates on the cheap at Play It Again Sports in Appleton.

2: Shop at the Community Public Market

For the people who miss seeing booths lined up down sunny College Avenue for the Downtown Appleton Farm Market at the beginning of Fall Term, the Community Public Market might be the perfect stand-in.

Until the Downtown Appleton Farm Market returns in June, Appleton residents have the opportunity to experience the Community Public Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 8, March 12 and April 18. Shoppers will be able to have the bustling Farm Market experience while cozily tucked away from the cold in the Fox Cities Exhibition Center, just an 8-minute walk from Lawrence’s campus.

Whether you’re looking for fresh snacks to take back to your dorm room, a ready-to-go meal to fulfill your non-Commons food craving or an environment where you can appreciate live music and art, the Community Public Market is a winter destination.

3: Play in the snow on Main Hall Green

Shae Erlandson makes a snow angel on Main Hall Green.
Shae Erlandson ’23 joins friends in making snow angels on Main Hall Green. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

When the snow starts coming down, the grassy area in front of Main Hall turns into a winter wonderland, full of opportunities for classic (and snowy) fun. From making tranquil snow sculptures and snow angels on the lawn to competing in snowball fights with teams and forts, Main Hall Green becomes Main Hall White as students bundle up and brave the chill.

Requiring no preparation or planning (other than dressing warm), playing in the snow outside of Main Hall is the perfect way to pass the time when you find yourself just sitting in your residence hall, trying to find something to do. The only requirement: remember to wear your gloves!

4: Order some hot chocolate at Lou’s Brew

As much as we all love Kaplan’s Café, it can be nice to venture just off campus to break from routine, and Lou’s Brew is the perfect place to do that.

With a prime location only one block away from Brokaw Hall, Lou’s Brew is close enough to campus that even students born near the equator can manage the brisk walk — plus, it’s easy to warm up with a toasty hot chocolate or latte as soon as you get inside (for tea-drinkers like me, their London Fog is an all-time fave). Lou’s Brew offers 10 percent off cash orders for Lawrence students if they present their student ID before paying.

For students willing to walk a bit further from campus. College Avenue is lined with plenty of other coffee shops that will satisfy that hot-drink craving, including Brewed Awakenings, Copper Rock and ACOCA Coffee.

5: Visit the Bubolz Nature Preserve

If you want to revel in the beauty of winter, there’s nowhere better than Wisconsin. Within the Fox Cities, the must-see destination for experiencing a stunning winter is the Bubolz Nature Preserve.

Roughly a 15-minute drive from campus, the preserve features hiking, walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails that are open from dawn to dusk throughout the winter. If you want to make a day of it, the Bubolz Nature Preserve also hosts special events, like their candlelight ski/snowshoe and their beginners’ ski clinics (which are an absolute necessity for those of us from the flatlands of the southern Midwest).

Regardless of skill level, the Bubolz Nature Preserve will have some kind of winter activity for you.

6: Roast s’mores in the dorm fireplaces

Although not every residence hall has its own fireplace, most of them do, and you can stop by the CA desk to schedule a time when you can get some friends together and hone your marshmallow-roasting skills. (Golden brown all around is 100% the perfect roast, no matter what anyone else says.)

It’s easy to ignore the wind outside when you’re basking in the heat of the flames.

In order to set up a s’more-making session in a dorm fireplace, you just need to reach out to your Community Advisor or Residence Hall Director so a CA can get trained to build a safe fire. Once that’s done, all you need to do is gather some blankets, find a few sticks and stock up on supplies from the Corner Store.

7: Sled down Memorial Hill

Tucked right behind the Viking Room in Memorial Hall, the hill leading down to the SLUG is a go-to destination for sledding. As the perfect way to de-stress after a long week, sledding down Memorial Hill is another staple of Winter Term, much like skating on Ormsby Lake.

Just request a sled from a CA or RHD, put on some snow boots and get ready to go fast. Winter is here, and Lawrence students are ready to enjoy the winter wonderland.

8: Go to some of the many Lawrence events happening every day

With a student body as involved and accomplished as Lawrence’s, there are a multitude of diverse events happening every day on campus. From musical performances to lectures from faculty and staff, from Wellness Center Yoga classes to exhibitions at the Wriston Center, there is never a shortage of events to attend.

The Lawrence events page is constantly being updated with more upcoming events, so Lawrence students can be sure that they will find something that resonates with them. No matter the weather, there is always something to do within a short walking distance of the residence halls. It might just take the chill out of winter.

Alex Freeman ’23 is a student writer in the Communications office.

Lawrence students “Pop the Bubble” to bring together campus, community artists

A Lawrence student plays guitar during a Pop the Bubble event at The Draw in Appleton.
Lawrence students performed at The Draw in mid-October as part of a Pop the Bubble event. (Photos by Sebastian Evans ’21)

Story by Isabella Mariani ’21

If you’ve ever talked to Lawrentians about their relationship with the Appleton community, you’ve probably heard a reference to the “Lawrence bubble.” In the Lawrence University lexicon, the term refers to campus as its own world in which some students may feel a disconnect from the surrounding community.

Emily Austin ’20 challenged this sentiment by starting Pop the Bubble.

Twice a month, this student-run program puts together an evening of various artistic performances by Lawrence students at The Draw, a multipurpose venue located along Lawe Street just a short walk south of campus. Each event centers around a theme chosen to spur conversation and build relationships between students and community members.

“Creating that open space and communication is the main goal of this project,” Austin said. “I think we often get stuck in the bubble, yet we have so much to learn from the community and they have so much to learn from us.”

Austin, a double major in music performance (voice) and English, was inspired to pop the bubble last spring when she took American Roots Music, a Conservatory of Music course co-taught by Grammy-nominated musician Cory Chisel and Dean of the Conservatory Brian Pertl. Students in the class bonded through writing and performing their own American roots music.

It was the students’ final performance at The Draw that inspired Pop the Bubble. Organizers at the venue invited the Lawrentians back to perform any time they wanted for free. A new door into the Appleton community was opened, and Austin jumped at the opportunity.

“I thought, ‘This is so cool, we have to do this,’” Austin said. “It would be an opportunity to bridge the gap between Appleton community artists and Lawrence University artists. It would also give musicians on campus a space to perform and feel comfortable outside of the Con and campus spaces.”

Two visitors look over artwork on display at The Draw during a recent Pop the Bubble event.
Pop the Bubble events are a mix of music, art, spoken word, and more.

The first Pop the Bubble show resembled an open mic night where Lawrence students performed for a local audience. The shows have since developed to focus on a theme that unites performers and audience, Lawrentians and community members alike. The most recent show, Stories of Home, asked all to share their personal experiences and memories from home. Performances included spoken word, music and film. Audience members wrote and drew their stories from home on Post-it notes that were collected at the end of the night; just one of the ways Pop the Bubble works to collaborate and connect with the people of Appleton.

The Pop the Bubble team has grown to include student artists of many disciplines, including a dancer, a visual artist, and creative writers. And it’s not just students who are interested. Community members, especially local artists, have reached out to the Pop the Bubble team expressing a desire to work with Lawrence students.

“The community we’ve found here has been so welcoming and excited about the project,” Austin said. “There’s a desire to get our students out and working and making those connections.

“I think if the Appleton community knew about what we were doing on this campus, especially in the Con and in the arts, there would be a little bit more acceptance of each other. It would become a way to share those ideas and collaborate on a human level.”

Two participants fill out Post-it Notes as part of a "Stories From Home" theme at a recent Pop the Bubble event.
Participants at a Pop the Bubble event at The Draw in October use Post-it notes to share stories, part of a “Stories of Home” theme.

Singer-songwriter and theatre major Caro Granner ’20 has been on the Pop the Bubble team since the beginning.

“When I came in, I felt this really warm, inviting energy,” Granner said of the Stories of Home event during fall term. “People were able to come together and enjoy each other’s company and create some really cool stuff together. To feel that welcoming, joyful energy at the end of a long week was really rewarding for me.”

Austin and Granner hope to increase student involvement with Pop the Bubble and expand their efforts, including doing fundraising for local nonprofits and arts groups.

Pop the Bubble will schedule its next event in winter term.

Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.

5 favorite ways Lawrentians get into the Halloween spirit on campus

Two pumpkins with Lawrence logos painted on them rest among the leaves on Main Hall Green.
Happy Halloween from Lawrence University. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Isabella Mariani ’21

Even in the midst of fall midterms, Lawrentians are never too busy to get into the Halloween spirit.

As the holiday draws near, students can be seen spreading Halloween cheer all around campus with a variety of fetes and frights. So warm up that mug of apple cider, put the finishing touches on that costume, and check out some of the favorite ways Lawrence students celebrate Halloween. You might just be inspired to join us.

1. CORE group trick-or-treating

On the Monday before Halloween, CORE leaders and their groups of first-years don costumes and head out for CORE trick-or-treating, a beloved Lawrence Halloween tradition. Starting at 9 p.m., the students go door-to-door for treats at the homes of Lawrence faculty near campus. President Mark Burstein’s home is a popular stop along the way.

The route ends with an afterparty in Memorial Hall, where students can hang out and eat their candy after all the fun.

2. Halloween parties

In the weeks preceding Halloween, students across campus organize their own Halloween-themed parties. These gatherings range from scary movie watch parties to full-blown costume bashes. It’s all about taking a break from midterm stress and spending time with friends.

3. Haunted house trip

Are you feeling brave? Each year, students in search of scares are invited on a road trip to a haunted house in Green Bay. This popular event has limited spots that fill up fast, so it’s important to sign up and pay the $5 fee as early as you can. Bringing along some friends makes for an extra memorable experience. This year’s trip already happened, but there are plenty of haunted houses in the area if you and your friends want to venture out on your own. They continue through Halloween weekend.

4. October Festival

The Diversity and Intercultural Center hosted an evening of festive fun in celebration of October. Students enjoyed caramel apples and root beer floats while designing skeletons and paper lanterns. What better way to wind down halfway through the term?

5. Pumpkin carving

Maybe parties and haunted houses aren’t your thing. Some Lawrentians spend a relaxing afternoon carving or painting pumpkins with friends. A variety of Jack-o-lanterns can now be seen near the entryways of residence halls and on the doorsteps of campus houses.

Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.