Section: Features

Campus safety officers connect with students through bingo

Campus safety officers connect with students through bingo

Osborne ’24 won a bike. | COURTESY OF MICHAEL SWEAZEY

On April 11, Campus Safety sent out a Student-Info email with an attached bingo sheet activity in an effort to reestablish community relationships that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. This initiated a two-week-long game that resembled a scavenger hunt, where students went around to as many officers as they could find, who would then stamp squares with answers that pertained to them. The excitement was, in part, due to the prize — an electric bike valued over $1000. The winner was randomly selected from those who turned in a completed sheet. 

Over the course of the pandemic, relationships between students and staff have been disrupted. Campus Safety historically maintained much more frequent, positive contact with the student body before they took on the responsibility of enforcing mask usage and social distancing, which gave the officers a reputation of being strict and distant. One of the goals of the game was to encourage students to interact with officers and get to know them on a personal level.

In order to complete the game, all 36 squares had to be stamped. The questions ranged in difficulty; some were broad, and some pertained to trivia on specific individuals, like “youngest officer.” Director of Campus Safety Michael Sweazey, who organized the game, spoke about the experience in an email to the Collegian. “It was great fun hearing students be amazed that an officer raises monarch butterflies in order to conserve them, that many of the officers are well-traveled, have degrees, or that some actively care for the feral cats on campus by feeding and rescuing them,” he said.

Victoria Osborne ’24 won the drawing on Sunday. About 30 students completed their sheets by the deadline on April 29, but many more participated. There was also a surprise drawing for players who were present, and so three additional students won board games. Sweazey, an avid board game fan, wanted to choose prizes that he thought would relieve some of the stress of upcoming finals.  

Overall, the bingo game was a success. Students and officers enjoyed meeting each other, sharing stories and scrambling to fill their cards by the deadline. This is Kenyon’s first organized game between Campus Safety and students, but more activities are in the making. “We are already coordinating to have our resident Kenyon ghost expert tell ghost stories during Senior Week, and I am hoping to do this and other activities again during orientation to establish these relationships as early in students’ tenures as possible,” said Sweazey.

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