The student homecoming tailgate during the fall 2019 semester. This year, festivities for homecoming will be held virtually. SAMANTHA ROBINSON/STATESMAN FILE

Stony Brook University is hosting a virtual homecoming event series called STAY HOMEcoming from Oct. 1 until  Oct. 10.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stony Brook University’s homecoming events are being held primarily online. The name “STAY HOMEcoming” is meant to represent the difference in the activities that will occur during the current semester compared to past semesters, though there are some events scheduled to be in person as well. 

“In thinking about programming, as we continue to navigate through challenging times, it is important to stay connected,” Interim Director of Alumni Operations Kristin Matthews said. “With that in mind, we felt it would be a wonderful opportunity for alumni to participate and engage with fellow Seawolves in a variety of STAY HOMEcoming events — virtual bingo, faculty lectures, reunions and more from anywhere across the globe.”

There are different events scheduled that cater to different interests, such as art and exercise. Student clubs and organizations on campus are also hosting their own events throughout the event.

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Student Engagement and Activities (SEA) hosted a Wolfie paint night on Oct. 1, the first event of STAY HOMEcoming. The Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery held the debut of the online Faculty Exhibition and the Student Digital Mural, where world-renowned faculty artists were featured and students were invited to submit their own artwork, photographs, poems, writing or music as a response to the challenges faced in today’s world. ChinaBlue, an Asian cultural club, also held a Mid-autumn Festival celebration on Oct. 1, which included craft making and artwork through Zoom.

“The paint night was really relaxing,” said Cassidy Guianen, a freshman marine science major who attended the first event. “I’ve been really stressed lately and it really helped relieve some of that stress.”

On Fridays during the event, there are full building tours of the new Stony Brook Student Union and leisurely runs called ‘5k Fridays,’ starting at the LaValle Stadium. For Harry Potter fans, the Dumbledore’s Army club held a wand making event at the Center for Leadership and Service. Taking place at the Staller Steps, the first ever ‘Hội An Lantern Night’ was held to honor the annual lantern festival in Vietnam. Students were able to design, light and take home their own lantern. 

“Crazy Rich Asians” was shown on Oct. 3, both in the SB Union Ballroom and in the Administration Overflow Parking Lot as a drive-in movie option. Digital caricatures were also available for commission on Saturday. Downloads of the caricatures were available after the event.

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On Oct. 5, the Recreation and Wellness Center hosted an outdoor spin session at the Pritchard Patio, which is near the Walter J. Hawrys Campus Recreation Center. There will also be virtual class ring information on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6, as well as a service event titled ‘Helping Healthier-U,’ where participants can decorate goody bags for essential workers, hosted by Alternative Spring Break Outreach on Oct. 6.

On Oct. 7, there will be another outdoor yoga on the Pritchard Patio, a virtual Micro-Mentoring Program Kick-Off, make your own fall-themed ceramics, and, to end the night, virtual trivia. Micro-Mentoring is a singular conversation between an alumni and a student or recent graduate who is interested in learning more about their specific career field. 

“It’s not going to be the same as an in-person Homecoming because many people go for that experience, such as the football game,” Hannah Gao, a freshman psychology major, said about homecoming moving to a semi-online format. “I do find it interesting, however, that they’re coming up with different events that different people may go to.”

STAY HOMEcoming will come to a close on Oct. 10, with a virtual event featuring mind reader and entertainer, Chris Carter.

All homecoming events are listed on the Stony Brook website.

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