For the first time in ANU history, ANUSA and PARSA both hosted an almost completely virtual Bush Week. PARSA’s week started on the 20th of July and ANUSA’s started on the 27th
On Monday, ANUSA started by holding a queer* coffee event and a virtual board games night. For those tired of looking at a computer screen, Tuesday brought an exciting change to the online nature of life with an in-person trivia event held at PJ O’Reilly’s.
Wednesday saw a virtual games night held by the ANU Computer Science Students’ Association, where students played a variety of different games including Minecraft and Rocket League. The ANU Women’s Department held a virtual movie night on Thursday, and there was an ANUSA x Mooseheads live stream for students who have been missing their nights out on the town.
On Friday night, ANUSA held the infamous Friday Night Party, though virtually. The event brought live music to the living rooms of students, and included Ava Martina, Sophie Edwards, Jack Phemister & The Winetasters, One Seventeen and Sophie Maurice. Also featured was a series of How-to Adult information sessions, and ANUSA handed out free craft packs throughout the week.
For PARSA, the week was packed with a wide range of events such as online Trivia, Market Day, Speed Friending, Movie Nights and PARSA’s online information booth.
A Higher Degree Research (HDR) students meet-up and separate catch-up events for Women, Queer, Disability and Australian Indigenous and Torres State Islander student groups were also part of O- Week, along with an exclusive Play Date Movie and Pizza Night for postgraduate parents.
The PARSA President, Utsav Gupta commented: “for the first time, PARSA held an entirely virtual O-Week. Thanks to the efforts of our reps, staff and volunteers, the events exceeded all our expectations. We had a fantastic turnout to our events from students all over the world, particularly our Postgraduate Welcome Evening where we had students tuning in from places ranging from Canberra to India to Zambia. We also held a successful online scavenger hunt, global café and escape room and trivia event. We are very proud to have been able to bring new and returning postgraduate students together during this very difficult, and isolating period, and would like to thank everyone for their enthusiasm and participation.”
The ANUSA Social Officer Sophie Jaggar commented “overall, Bush Week was smaller than previous years due to current circumstances and previous experiences we had with online events. This is exacerbated by the fact that a lot of students suffer from Zoom fatigue, particularly in a week where students are already attending classes. The turn out from the events was pleasing, but there is always room for improvement at future online event weeks. Organising Bush Week this year was logistically challenging due to last minute confirmations and communications about what sorts of events could run. However, future online events will be easier given the structures now set up. The How to Adult livestream is still on our Facebook page and we will be looking to hand out the rest of our DIY Craft packs later on in the semester!”
Update 12/8: A previous version of this article stated that the ANUSA Bush Week started on the 20th of July when it began on the 27th. We have amended the article to reflect this
Update 17/8: The article has been updated to include the ANUSA Social Officer’s comment