As the one year mark since students, faculty and staff were sent home from campus approaches, current seniors are remembering a time where all senior events were voided and the historic Zoom graduation of 2020 took place.
The Senior Planning Committee, in affiliation with the Student Government Association, is working to grant the class of 2021 memorable last moments at Pace. The committee plans to implement various events for on and off campus seniors to participate in safely.
The Senior Planning Committee meets bi-weekly to brainstorm topics for events that will allow seniors to feel celebrated and have a good end to their college career at Pace. Recently, the committee has given on-campus seniors door tags to hang outside their dorm rooms as a way to notably congratulate them. In addition, the committee partnered with Dr. Jane Collins to host their first virtual senior event on March 5 as an opportunity to write letters to their future selves.
The vice president of administration for SGA and member of the Senior Planning Committee, Annie Keppel-Palmer, emphasizes the need to keep senior traditions in place in order to bring back the sense of normalcy that has been lost. She states the committee wants to uphold the on-campus senior brunch which will take place in either Gottesman or the Kessel multipurpose room.
With Pace entering a green status , allowing 25% indoor capacity and up to 50 people at outdoor gatherings, the committee has begun attempting to plan the logistics of their brunch and end of semester events.
“At the moment, we don’t know number wise how these events are going to play out,” Keppel-Palmer states. “We are green right now but that doesn’t mean that in three weeks time it will be the same.”
Brandon Joachim, student ambassador of diversity for SGA and member of the Senior Planning Committee, reveals that the committee is proposing a three part brunch series to allow all seniors the opportunity to attend while following safety precautions.
During this series, which is anticipated to occur in April, inspirational speakers and poets are expected to attend to leave students with words of wisdom. Senior care packages will also be distributed to allow seniors to take Pace merchandise with them throughout their journeys after college.
To continue the fulfillment of traditions, the committee wants to emphasize an end of the year celebratory send off in the form of a midnight breakfast or a spring festival with a focus on seniors. Since there is a possibility of graduation following in last year’s footsteps, the committee wants to make it apparent how important it is to make the seniors feel celebrated.
“Usually in the past, there were hundreds of people lined up for our Midnight Breakfasts so it might not happen because of restrictions ,” Joachim states. “If we did do one, then the seniors would each need to select specific time segments to get their food.”
For the possible spring festival, the committee is optimistic that later in the semester outside gatherings will not be as limited. During the festival, the committee plans to have a DJ, raffles, and giveaways. Keppel-Palmer states that the committee is still contemplating what element to add to the festival that will make it specific to seniors.
Together with upholding traditions, the committee is dedicated to creating a senior banner. Keppel-Palmer shares that throughout her years at Pace she always admired the banner hanging in the entrance of Kessel which consisted of graduating senior’s handprints. Joachim proposes an innovative idea of collecting selfies of all seniors, on and off campus, to have a collage of photos spelling out “Class of 2021.”
Joachim urges all students to share their thoughts on the possible events and any new ideas since the committee’s purpose is to fulfill the wants of all seniors. “Student government has their bi-weekly Senate that is open to any student who wants to speak their mind.” Joachim urges all students, especially seniors, who want to share their ideas to contact anyone in SGA or in SDCA.