Disclaimer: The featured photo was taken during the February 6 High Stakes Bingo Night earlier this year.
High Stakes Bingo is a beloved tradition at Utah State University, but with the spread of COVID-19, USU students were worried it wouldn’t happen this year. Luckily, the event crews pulled through to make bingo night happen this semester, even if it was a little bit different.
“Our top priority is to have events in person but also keep students safe, so that’s why we’re doing a mix of in-person and virtual events,” said McKenzie Clark, the Traditions director at USU Student Involvement, “the goal is to keep student events alive and students safe.”
The bingo night took place on Thursday, Sept. 3 in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum so students could stay socially distant. A second bingo night is set for Friday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
According to sophomore Shelby Gatherum, there were assigned seats in the Spectrum separating each student by at least six feet. Everyone wore their masks and were given their own crayon and bingo sheet. The jumbotron in the Spectrum was used to show a bingo ball that showed what squares students should mark off on their bingo cards. There was also a presentation showing which square was announced and how to mark the square correctly.
Clark said the Traditions committee has been a big help and “without a volunteer base we wouldn’t be able to have events like this.”
USU Blue Crew helped with the bingo night by walking around the Spectrum to verify winners and keep everyone socially distanced.
“I didn’t get to sit by my friends because they were in a different section, which kind of sucked,” Gatherum said. “Kind of also liked it because then I could be as loud as I wanted and it didn’t hurt my ears. I was also able to hear a lot better because it wasn’t as crazy packed and loud.”
Overall, the first Spectrum high stakes bingo night was a success.
“Honestly, I think considering the circumstances it was a perfect bingo night,” Gatherum said.
The event staff at USU works tirelessly for the students and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“As a student, I like planning events and I want students to be able to have events,” Clark said. “I want to be able to keep planning them, but students need to do their part and wear their masks when they go to events and… class. People who don’t follow the guidelines that the university has set out will be the reason why we can’t do fun things.”
As long as students stay socially distanced, keep their masks on and stay home when they’re sick, events like High Stakes Bingo will continue.
Here are some links and calendar information to help you get more involved with the modified events and traditions at USU:
Aggie Rock: If you can find a specific rock you can earn $2,000. Clues are on Instagram @aggie.rock from Sept. 7-26.
Pobev on the quad in-person at 9 p.m. on Sept. 12.
Food Truck Fair on Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. on the quad.
Sorority Life and Recruitment Week next week.
Engineering College social on Sept. 15 at 4 p.m.
College of Education and Human Services social on Sept. 17 at 4 p.m.
Emily White is a junior studying English and broadcast journalism. She is currently serving as the senior writer for the Lifestyles section of the Statesman.