Seaver 200 Foundation gatherings go online following logistical challenges ‹Pepperdine Graphic
The freshmen and sophomores attend their first Foundation Gathering at Eddy D. Field Baseball Stadium on September 1. Future Foundation gatherings will be held online, according to an Oct. 15 email from the Hub for Spiritual Life. Photo by Beth Gonzales
The Hub for Spiritual Life announced changes to Seaver 200 scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15, due to logistical issues, according to an Oct. 15 email from the Hub for Spiritual Life.
The last two Foundation Gathering events for the fall semester, Wednesday October 20 and November 10, will take place online. Students will view a pre-recorded video on the IAttendu application. All RISE groups and other small groups will stay in person.
âI think this semester has been a lot of hubs,â Assistant Chaplain Shaya Aguilar said. “And so, keeping intact the integrity of what we hoped to do from the start was something we struggled with how to do it, but also recognizing that changes had to be made.”
Seaver 200, a mandatory spiritual life program for first and second year residency students, consists of four large-group Foundation gathering events and six small-group breakout meetings. Both types of events take place every week on Wednesdays.
Foundation gatherings host around 1,700 lower level students, and the Hub’s biggest challenge this fall has been figuring out where to put them all.
The first two Foundation gatherings were held at Eddy D. Field baseball stadium. However, there are noise issues with the construction of the improved parking and nearby storage project as construction is too late to stop, said partner Chaplin Rachel Collins.
âThe construction going on is really starting to speed up a bit, so they aren’t able to stop construction for our event as that would represent several hours of a break,â Collins said.
Students also criticized the baseball field’s limited entrances and crowded seats.
Without the baseball field, the Hub was left without âother possible locations,â according to the email.
Pepperdine’s largest indoor space is Firestone Country House, which can comfortably accommodate around 3,000 to 5,000 people. Recent LA County guidelines require events with more than 1,000 attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, which would apply to indoor Foundation gatherings.
âWhen we looked at the campus and what our different options are, it became clear that – we’re still trying to balance the issue of students having to attend to get credit, but we also want them to feel welcome. in space, âCollins said.
Instead, the Hub will provide students with pre-recorded videos to watch on Oct. 20 and Nov. 10, in order to receive Foundation Gathering credits, Collins said.
The videos will be streamed live for 24 hours and students will receive step-by-step instructions on how to watch them. Bob Goff will be the October 20 speaker and Jeff Walling the November 10 speaker, Collins said.
âI think the students will be receptive to it because there is a bit more flexibility,â Aguilar said. “And I hope when things get back to normal [â¦] that there will be an opportunity to really create the kind of community that we hope for.
Looking ahead, the Hub is uncertain whether Foundation events will stay online or come back in person in the spring, but the team is aiming to connect with students, Collins said.
âWe’re always trying to balance the need to plan but also wanting to be responsive as things change,â Collins said. âWe’ve emailed the students on our list quite regularly, like every one to two weeks, so we’ll stay in touch with them as spring approaches. “
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