Campus Programs to Offer While Your Students Are Away

Amid teaching your campus how to wash their hands, prepare for an emergency, and combat racism associated with COVID-19, we’ve compiled some programs you can offer students virtually with little planning based on upcoming “holidays.”

Awkward Moments Day (March 18): Share awkward photos, have people tell awkward stories via a Zoom Meetup, show compilations of awkward movie scenes, and give pointers on how to be less awkward.

Oranges and Lemons Day (March 19): Involve your faculty to have a virtual lecture related to citrus fruit (e.g., history, growing, geography, medical value, etc.). Host a virtual cooking class on how to make a citrus-themed food or drink. Show how to make coded messages or demonstrate stain-removal techniques with lemon juice. Have scavenger hunt for who can find the most orange-colored items in their home.

Alien Abduction Day (March 20): Share a list of alien abduction movies and have a virtual “book club”-style discussion. Using Zoom breakout rooms, organize a virtual competition for teams to virtually prepare emergency alien abduction response plans. Have a craft party where people make alien-protection helmets out of items around their house (e.g., foil, paperclips, and cotton swabs).

Cuddly Kitten and National Puppy Day (March 23): Post photos of these cuties on your social media and ask students to reciprocate. Have a virtual mock debate over the merits of cats versus dogs. Work with a local humane society to have an all-day live feed of a “kitten cam.”

National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day (March 26): You know what you should do! Get after it.

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day (March 27): Ask people to share videos of them singing quirky country songs. Have a lyric-writing contest. Host a virtual discussion about the Country Music documentary by Ken Burns.

Virtual Vacation Day (March 30): Have teams curate virtual vacations and share them with students; everyone can vote on what they like best. Host a virtual workshop on vacation planning. Have a Photoshop whiz take requests, using the software to insert people into a photo of their desired vacation scene.

National Crayon Day (March 21): Obviously, host a coloring contest, but up your game by asking people to make up names for the color crayons they use and have someone draw downloadable campus-themed coloring pages. Have social media meetups for silly games like drawing a picture behind your back or drawing as many of something in 30 seconds as possible.

Reconciliation Day (April 2): Ask someone with a counseling background, psychology, or religious studies to moderate a virtual discussion about the power of reconciliation. Offer a template for students to write to someone they want to forgive or from whom they seek forgiveness. Improve students’ financial literacy by offering a virtual workshop about accounting best practices and “reconciling” financial records.

National Film Score Day (April 3): Ask a music faculty member to give a short talk about a film score they like. Gather submissions for what song would best illustrate the current vibe among students and put together a playlist. Have a contest in which you play just a few seconds of a film score and people have to guess what movie it’s from.

National DIY Day (April 4): Host virtual demonstrations of how to fix a hem, a leaky faucet, a squeaky door, etc. Share instructions for homemade gifts, ask students to share family recipes, and host an #AskMeAnything with a local handyperson.

Road Map Day (April 5): Showcase Easter Eggs in Google Maps. Hold a map-themed crafting competition. Ask students to draw a map of how they would walk to a safe place in case of emergency. Curate a group of students to tell stories of past spring break road trips.

Jump Over Things Day (April 6): Partner with rec sports to post workout instructions that involve jumping. Share videos of people comically jumping over things.  Use an online karaoke platform to sing jump-themed songs.

Metric System Day (April 7): Share the Discovery Channel’s “Gimme Shelter” about the metric system. As someone from the math faculty to host a virtual math competition. Hold a live cooking demonstration with metric measurement conversions.

Draw a Picture of a Bird Day (April 8): It seems obvious what you’re supposed to do on this day. You could more broadly incorporate aspects pf ornithology and make it more educational.

National Unicorn Day (April 9): Do a live crafting instruction meetup for unicorn-themed crafts. Co-watch a unicorn-themed movie marathon (everyone starts a movie at the same time and chat functionality is available throughout). Have a virtual unicorn-themed poetry reading.

National Farm Animals Day (April 10): If you work on an ag campus, ask faculty and staff to share farm animal facts or how they’re continuing to care for animals while in-person instruction is suspended. Do farm animal trivia via Kahoot! Host a virtual book club about Animal Farm by George Orwell. 

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