What comes to mind when you think of Mardi Gras? You could say wild costumes and jewelry, fun celebrations and gatherings or good food and drinks. This year, the day will be spent differently than before, but we can still put our own personalized style on the festivities. No matter what, remember to stay safe with your family and friends.
In anticipation of the holiday, Rowan After Hours (RAH) hosted a safe, yet enjoyable, Mardi Gras event for students to come out and have a good time.
Events at Rowan look a little different than before, with social distancing, less activities that we can take part in and certain specialties, like food, being cut out. Although there are now these new restrictions, student-led initiatives are finding ways to make experiences like Mardi Gras matter.
“Normally, we would have food at our events, but we cannot do that, unfortunately,” Mustafa Sabuur, graduate coordinator for RAH and special events, said. “I know especially with Mardi Gras, food is a huge part of that. We decided to make a little snack pack, instead, as a raffle prize for students to win, so that we could still have something related to that.”
Photo booths have become a popular commodity for special occasions, and they give guests the chance to create memories that will last forever. Unlike other featured events, Mardi GRAH had its own personalized photo booth just for students, complete with beads and masks. Sticking to the theme and staying true to the day itself, the student pit was decked out with all different decorations.
Students not only received decadent and colorful beads, but they could also create their very own Zen gardens to help set their minds at ease. In addition, they could enter for a chance to win different Mardi Gras-themed raffle baskets. All three themes centered around music, snacks and traditional games that students can play when they need a break from coursework.
In a time where campus events no longer look or feel the same, the coordinators at RAH do what they can with their set limitations to still bring a unique and fun setting to students. As we almost arrive at the halfway point in the semester, now is the time to take a moment and refresh for midterms, assignments and exams.
“It’s important to still take those moments to yourself and really take a break,” Sabuur said. “I think that’s the most important thing, because mental health is the forefront of what people need to focus on.”
As a community, we are still trying to figure out how we can enjoy holidays like Mardi Gras in different ways that prioritize our health but are still enjoyable. As one of Rowan’s top programs, centered around the wellbeing of students, RAH will always try to keep that positive momentum going.
“Especially as students during a pandemic, people want stuff to do, and we still do that the best we can,” Sabuur said. “We go through a lot in a day, especially being in a pandemic, most importantly. And each person is different. We just want to be here to help in any sort of way that we can.”
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