MSG provides bags, masks and gear

Ashley Barletta, Contributing Writer

It is evidenced by the state of our world that college move-in would look different this year, but when it comes to students, Mercyhurst prides itself on being a welcoming community. This year, welcome bags were distributed upon students’ arrival to campus.

“In past years, MSG would give out the reusable thermal bottles at Welcome Week kickoff. Upperclassmen would also get a gift at an upperclassmen barbeque held in the Upperclassmen area,” said Sarah Allen, executive director of Campus Involvement. “Since we were not going to be hosting a Welcome Week Kickoff, like in years past, the idea came up to put bags together for all students.”

Printed on the bags is a list of campus activities that will go on throughout the year. This “Laker List” is encouraging students to get out of their rooms and get involved on campus, as students are to limit their time off campus to help prevent the coronavirus from infecting the student body.

The bags themselves also encourage the use of sustainable items as opposed to disposable ones to limit plastic use and care for our planet.

Each reusable bag contained two disposable masks and two reusable masks. Students also received a refillable hand sanitizer bottle, a thermometer, and new students recieved an insulated “Earth is Home” water bottle.

“The ‘Earth is Home’ mug has become a tradition to give to new students from the Mercyhurst Student Government as they transition to life at Mercyhurst,” said Lucy Belleau, president of Mercyhurst Student Government. “This year, we expanded the new student gift from just the ‘Earth is Home’ mug to the welcome bags. Since last year was cut short, we were able to reallocate resources to provide these welcome gifts to students in order to kick this year off as safely as possible.”

The items in each bag were designed to promote the health of students, as well as the resilience and sustainability of the Mercyhurst community.

“We felt that things we would want students to use often should go in the bags, so having customized MU masks were top on the list,” Allen said.

In addition to the masks already provided, students can find masks at Police and Safety and other offices around campus, as well as for purchase at the bookstore.

Due to the pandemic, the bags had to be distributed while practicing social distancing. This task was completed by RAs and Laker Leaders.

“In the Freshmen residence halls, Laker Leaders and Resident Assistants spent hours delivering bags to each room,” Allen said. “Residential upperclassmen bags were given to RAs to distribute when they conducted their occupancy checks. All non-residential students have been instructed to swing by the Campus Involvement Center [2nd floor of the Student Union] to pick up their bags.”

So far, there seems to be a lot of positive feedback about the bags.