Most current and past college students can still reminisce about the difficulty that was choosing the college that they would want to attend. Many schools offer visit days, private tours, and overnights, and Loras College is no exception. While there are many overnights for different things such as different athletic teams and different Administration events that are held throughout the year, one experience is simply unique from the rest because of its spiritual nature.
On Sunday, Feb. 19, about 20 high school seniors came to Loras College to visit for the annual Campus Ministry Overnight. This event is designed in order to give interested prospective Duhawks the chance to learn more about Loras’ campus ministry department, as well as the school itself. Junior Nicole Connelly and sophomore Gina Boeding were the students in charge of this event.
“The best part about helping with the CM overnight is seeing those who attended on campus the following fall,” Boeding said. “Turnaround rates from the overnight are impressively high, which makes planning it and putting it in so rewarding.”
Many current Duhawks who are involved with campus ministry volunteered their time to help with the event, many of whom attended the overnight when they were in high school. They say this event is part of why they ultimately chose to attend Loras College.
“I didn’t want to come to Loras originally, but I decided to come to the overnight with one of my friends and I ended up meeting some really cool people,” sophomore Lauren Bollweg said. “What sold me was adoration in Christ the King with praise and worship music. I really felt Jesus was there that night and I wanted to keep that feeling.”
The prospective students got to do a wide variety of activities including ice breaker games and small group time, which allowed them to get to know not only other seniors but current students as well. They also got to ask questions for a panel of students where anything they wanted to know about college would be answered. Since many of the prospective students who visited were interested in learning more about what Loras College’s faith opportunities were, a lot of the events of the night were focused around that. The prospective Duhawks also got the opportunity to celebrate Mass in Christ the King Chapel during the normal 5 p.m. celebration with the rest of the Duhawk community, as well as participate in Eucharistic Adoration and Praise and Worship, which was one of the favorite activities of the evening. Also, the students got to participate in a service opportunity making tie blankets for the Loras service trips.
“This is a great way to reach out to students that are interested in knowing more about what we have to offer in campus ministry as they are deciding on which college or university to attend,” Gross said. “It is different than the typical visit day because they come in on a Sunday afternoon, and we have a team of college students that are presently involved in campus ministry that host.”
After the day’s activities were done, students got to spend the night with their assigned host student in their rooms. The residence halls offered different activities to attend such as night prayer, games and relaxation to end their night.
The next morning, the students were given the opportunity to shadow one of the early morning classes in order to be able to see first-hand what it’s like to be a Duhawk. The students were given a variety of classes to pick from, ranging in subjects from theology to education. Then they took part in the Presidents Day visit that the Admissions Department holds every year.
The Campus Ministry Department is very pleased with the success of the overnight. Prospective Duhawks came away with a sense of what Campus Ministry is all about.
“I believe that this helps the campus ministry department because it gives current students a chance to share about the things that they are involved with in campus ministry and what they love about it,” Gross said. “It also helps us to be able to let incoming students know the many ways that they can be involved with their faith once they become Duhawks.”