At the start of the semester, new Pensacola Christian College students were introduced to several aspects of campus life. Two very early and informational events, Greek Rush and Christian Service Expo, got a bit of a makeover, engaging students in new and exciting ways.
Usually, Greek Rush is held outside with each collegian operating a recruiting booth and holding a lively parade as the evening’s finale. This year, it was transformed into a different kind of event—Greek Rush Connect. Instead of students meeting all 48 collegians on one night, they were divvied up and introduced slowly, six at a time over a week in the Sports Center Annex to keep group sizes small. Each night, students stopped by different collegian booths to learn about each group’s semester plans, enjoy snacks and games, and see how members interact with each other.
As the Alpha Gamma Phoenix officers planned for Greek Rush Connect, collegian president Lily May (Jr., WI), vice president Tori Giffin (Jr., IL), and league representative Lydia Walker (Jr., TX), used their planning and promoting roles differently to encourage member engagement at the Connect. “It was amazing!” said Lily. “With all the precautions due to COVID, we were unsure of the turnout, but we prayed that God would lead as He will. The Connect went so wonderfully, and we got to see and talk to way more girls than we ever expected.”
Lily and the other officers hope to keep that involvement up throughout the semester by encouraging members through the theme “Having Fun in the Faith” (Ecc. 2:24) and starting a letter-writing initiative for those members who remained home. “With all the heaviness of this year, we wanted to remind believers that being a Christian is the best thing ever,” Lily said. “I love the opportunities for friendship that being in a collegian provides. We want to grow closer to God and each other as we make it through this year.”
After the week of introductions had finished, new students chose a collegian during virtual Greek Rush, stepping into a new social circle that’s eager to share in their college experience.
Christian Service Expo also adapted to current circumstances. Instead of having the over 60 booths fill the busy hallways of the Crowne Centre for one night, a smaller Expo was set up in the Commons Florida Room and showcased six different categories for students to serve in—three serving local communities, and three supporting ministries on campus.
Instead of holding Bible lessons and playing games at their Bible club’s meeting place, co-leaders Alec Carver (Sr., NJ) and Kayla Faulkner (Sr., WA), and their volunteers will be taking gloves and bags to clean it. “I’m glad that we are still able to at least go out and do something in the community,” said Alec. “I pray that my group will be a light that PCC and Christians care about the community at large. Also, I want to be an example to students on campus as being a group that will use whatever circumstances to promote Christ.”
Hope York (Jr., OH) is looking forward to using Christian Service to encourage the elderly by writing uplifting letters. After working at a long-term care facility during the pandemic, she knows how a little can go a long way for those stuck inside. “Because of COVID-19 we have had to switch things up a little bit,” she said. “Instead of visiting with our residents, now we will be writing them letters to keep that connection with them intact during this season of life. My hope this semester is that in some small way, through something as simple as letter writing, [we] can add hope to the lives of our residents. To us, it seems simple; to them, it means the world.”
Last semester, Juan Sulse (Sr., NY) and others involved in Workers for the Homeless paused serving at Waterfront Rescue Mission Thrift Store in March due to COVID-19. “I had prayed that circumstances would change in order for us to start again,” he said. “I’m glad that they are allowing us to start up our volunteer group again this semester! Even though Christian Service may look different this year, there are still opportunities to serve. College may be mainly about school, but get involved. There are a lot of opportunities to serve others.”
Instead of doing so at the Christian Service Expo, students signed up for a Christian Service online through Eagle’s Nest, PCC’s student portal.
Collegian life and Christian Service opportunities, normal parts of the PCC journey, are offering their experiences to new and returning students. These groups have geared up for a semester of involvement, whether bonding with friends during a collegian outing or witnessing together to the local community.