Welcome Week 2020

Beth Machell, RNCM SU Community and Environment Officer, recaps RNCM Welcome Week!

The biggest week of the year that every student looks forward to at university is Freshers’ Week. A week of parties, events and meeting new people, all organised by your Students’ Union! Being on the SU this year as Community and Environment officer, I was really looking forward a lot of things, one of which being a part of organising this great week. However, the current pandemic situation certainly did throw a spanner in the works for what a normal Freshers’ Week would look like. But as a team we were determined to use our creativity to come up with a safe week that everyone could still enjoy.

SU Welcome Desk

We came up with a theme of Task Master which ran throughout the week. Students got into teams with their household where they would complete daily challenges. On top of these, points could be won by individuals at all of the events that would be added to their team’s taskmaster score. All of these points were collated to announce a final winner at the end of the week. This allowed people to team up in households but also meet other people on the online events. The other events we put on included a murder mystery, recreation of the classic children’s gameshow 50/50, a cocktail/cook along and a quiz! As well as these fun evening events we had a number of more informative events in the day including a virtual tour of Manchester, an online freshers’ fair and drop-in session.

The week got off to a great start at the Welcome Desk on Sunday – the weather was so nice. It was so enjoyable after six months at home to finally be with the team in person and meet some new friendly faces coming to pick up their welcome boxes. These boxes had things that contributed to each event and were an optional extra to help you enjoy Welcome Week even more! To round off the first day we had our first Task Master challenge, “Camouflage yourself then be photographed in position where the RNCM SU team will try and spot you.” The entries certainly didn’t disappoint! Some students were very impressively hidden; other entries were just hilarious. It was so great being able to judge them throughout the week and well done to the team ‘The Mackworth Mofos (and James)’ for being the overall Task Master winners!

Laurel, Jess, Grace, James, and Angharad (very well) hidden in LS Lowry’s The Mill, Pendlebury

All of the events were so enjoyable to be a part of. I definitely had two fab highlights though. First of all being the Murder Mystery. It wasn’t your standard murder mystery as obviously Zoom is wonderful but has its limitations. Instead everyone had a different piece of information they had to dramatically reveal to the group at different points in the game. There were prizes for the most dramatic death and best character performance. We ran this event numerous times throughout the week  but it never got boring as different groups of people always brought different things to their characters and the story took various different routes accordingly. It was so nice saying everyone embrace this online game and some of the acting was incredible! Someone even shedded real tears at one point – it was very impressive!

Another highlight of the week for me was the cook along! Our SU president Cara and I got to go into the RNCM kitchens with our fab chefs and cook a really tasty rice dish with the choice of chicken, tofu or halloumi. The best part was we got to wear chef whites! We really looked the part and I think the people who cooked along at home also really enjoyed the meal. It was also really interesting to see inside the kitchens and how big they really are.

The week was overall a success and I really hope both new and current students alike had an enjoyable time!

20 October 2020