CAB Hosts Successful Hybrid Welcome Week


CAB hosted a virtual speaker event with Broadway star, Anothony Ramos. (Courtesy of Lianna Meehan)

Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosted its annual Welcome Week that started on Aug. 30 through Sept. 4 for new and returning students. 

The events included a virtual Q&A on Sunday with Heidi Gardner, an actress and comedian currently on SNL, a classic night of Bingo in the McGinley Ballroom and North Dining on Monday and an outdoor showing of “Little Women” on the football and baseball fields on Tuesday.

The board hosted a virtual Q&A with Anthony Ramos, an actor and musician who starred in the Broadway show “Hamilton,” on Wednesday. Lianna Meehan, FCRH ’21, CAB president, hosted a Zoom information session for CAB on Thursday, and the week ended with a scavenger hunt on Friday. 

Kathryn Murphy, FCRH ’21, said it was very interesting to listen to Anthony Ramos talk about his experience working in theatre and film.

“As a theatre minor, I thought it was very moving and inspirational to hear how much of a positive impact theatre has had on his life, although it was not originally his intention to pursue a career in theatre or music,” said Murphy. “He was very casual in his conversation which made me feel like I was listening to friends have a fun conversation and not listening to a celebrity talk to some college students. His easy-going mannerisms made me feel like I was part of his friend group and someone who could relate to my own life experiences.” 

Meehan said all the events had over 100 attendees, with some in two locations to abide by the 50 attendees per location requirement. 

“The virtual events had great attendance, which was very exciting,” said Meehan. “We started the week off with a virtual event, a Q&A with Heidi Gardner. There were 114 attendees, which boosted my confidence for the rest of the week! Our Anthony Ramos Q&A had nearly 300 attendees! … Both speakers were incredibly cool and sweet which was an added bonus.” 

Meehan said planning for Welcome Week this year was different from previous years because of the pandemic, but it pushed her and the CAB Executive Board to get creative in order to plan virtual as well as in-person events that made people feel excited to be back at Fordham. 

“The process was a little hectic since so much is still up in the air and things are always changing at the last minute,” said Meehan. “However, I wouldn’t have done a thing differently — I am so proud and happy at how Welcome Week came together!” 

Some students who attended agreed that while Zoom was not ideal, it was a good solution given the current COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Using Zoom for the speaker events was a great solution for virtually offering the Welcome Week events,” said Elizabeth Mitsch, FCRH ’21. “It was awesome to hear from Heidi Gardner and Anthony Ramos, and listen to how they started their careers! I’m looking forward to seeing what else CAB has planned for the semester.” 

Anna Csiky, FCRH ’21, said she would go to another similar event on Zoom.

“I think it’s really awesome and I like that we can ask questions we may not get to ask otherwise,” Csiky said. “Overall, it was really awesome listening to Anthony Ramos and Heidi Gardner and how they started their careers. I think Zoom was a great way to keep doing these types of events.” 

Meghan Donovan, FCRH ’21, said she thought the format and set up worked well. 

“I definitely prefer seeing speakers in person, but I’m very glad CAB found this creative way to keep events going,” said Donovan. “I would really like to keep attending these events if CAB keeps doing them. I really enjoyed getting to see Anthony Ramos and Heidi Gardener over Zoom.” 

Meehan said it wasn’t difficult planning the in-person events, but it was a new experience. She said all of the attendees at the events were understanding and receptive to the guidelines that were laid out. Everyone registered for the events they wanted to attend beforehand to ensure that they were following New York City and Fordham guidelines, she said. 

“I know it sounds corny, but I truly loved every event that CAB hosted for Welcome Week,” said Meehan. “It was so nice to come together and see Fordham students attend our events even though they turned out a little different this year!”