Dear Students,

As we prepare to welcome you to the Mountain for the upcoming semester, we are excited to let you know about several programs and activities in place to help make this a fun, meaningful, and safe time together. We know you have received a lot of information on interim health practices and policies, and those are of course important. However, we also understand that life outside of the classroom helps students flourish, and we want you to know that we will do everything we can to keep up Sewanee traditions, even during a pandemic. To get a taste of what we are planning, please take a minute to read about a variety of activities below. We can’t wait to see you on campus and to work together to make this a semester that you will never forget!

Sincerely and in EQB, 

W. Marichal Gentry
Vice President for Student Life
Dean of Students

Student Programs and Activities:
  • Sewanee Dining: Chef Rick and the Sewanee Dining staff are eager to welcome you to campus and to take good care of nourishing you. We know many of you have had questions about how dining will work this semester. Please take a minute to look through this information from Chef Rick to learn more about all of the dining options on campus.
  • Virtual Student Activities Fair: The Student Activities Fair during Orientation is a longstanding tradition here at Sewanee. This year will be no different! Well, it will be a little different. Student organizations will be grouped together by interest or theme (e.g., arts and music, academic, service, social), and interested students will have the opportunity to attend one or all of the fairs via Zoom. Meet leaders of each organization, learn about their mission and programs, and sign up to get involved!  
  • Grab your camping chair or blanket, and get ready to enjoy movies under the stars! Campus Activities has just ordered a 24-foot-wide inflatable outdoor movie screen, and we intend to put it to good use this semester. Sewanee fall nights are beautiful, and there’s no reason (pandemic or not) we shouldn’t take advantage of that! Get ready to watch some old favorites as well as new hits. And of course, we’ll provide individual drinks and candy for everyone.
  • This year as always, Sewanee’s incredibly active and engaging student organizations are a point of pride. With about 100 different student groups on campus, there is almost always something going on. This year’s funding applications for student organizations will go out within the first week of classes. These funds empower students to initiate and plan their own programs for friends and peers on campus. With all student programs taking place outdoors this semester, groups will be even more visible on and around campus!
  • Sewanee is thrilled to launch the new Wellness Commons this semester, home to the University Wellness Center, Sewanee Outing Program, and FitWell fitness center. The UWC will host wellness workshops and virtual meditations. Be on the lookout for opportunities to get moving outside with FitWell workouts like outdoor yoga, fitness classes at the track, (stationary) cycling under the stars, and TRX suspension training at the football field with the coaches. Look for virtual fitness classes as well.
  • Haven’t explored the Domain yet? Not sure where or how to begin? Don’t worry! The Sewanee Outing Program (SOP) and the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (OESS) are here to offer tips and get you started as you begin to navigate our incredible 13,000 acres. The SOP and OESS will offer opportunities including guided hikes, climbing workshops, fishing, and canoeing the lakes of the Domain. Be on the lookout for regular opportunities that will be headed your way. And if you are ready to take off and explore, download the trail map and check out the camping opportunities on the OESS website. 
  • Sewanee Greek Life: Greek organizations on campus have always provided an open environment for students to socialize with one another, and that will continue this semester. Our Greek chapters and leaders are ready to provide safe and fun events for students on campus. The Intersorority and Interfraternity Councils are also hard at work planning upper-class (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) recruitment for the first week in September.
  • Grab your camping chair (again!) to socialize outdoors. We know it is healthier and safer to spend time with others (still six feet apart) outdoors instead of inside. So we encourage students and their friends to bring and set up camping chairs on the lawns in front of their residence halls. Grab a guitar and sing together. If singing isn’t your thing, then listen to music together. Dance. Play a game. Get into a good debate with one another. And, for those of you who are 21 or older, feel free to grab a beer or a glass of wine (no glass bottles still!) and enjoy a drink or two while you’re hanging out with your friends. In other words, have fun and be together in a safe way!

These are just a few things we are planning for you for your return (or first time!) on the Mountain. We’d love to hear from you as well. Have an idea for a student program or activity? Please let us know here. We can’t wait to see you all soon!