SAO to launch “Toknight Show, ” other tentative events


Photo Courtesy of SAO

Student Activities Office will return this Thursday with the launch of its new “Toknight Show” after a long hiatus from COVID complications. This show will be streamed virtually and interview guests such as Pastor Mary and other Calvin figures, local bands, and some bands that were booked previously but now are unable to come to campus. 

In addition to the “Toknight Show,” other tentative events are being planned for this fall, according to Jack Droppers, the new head of SAO. On Sept. 18 and 19, SAO is showing an outdoor movie, with social distancing enforced by rules including buying tickets beforehand and sitting in assigned seats. SAO is currently workshopping ways to allow more students to see the movie. Since only 100 students can gather at a time, even with two showings only 200 students would be able to see the movie overall.

Another possible event is a band performance, live at the Seminary pond. The band would perform on the island in the middle of the pond to ensure social distancing from students.

Although things are coming together now, Droppers admitted that “the past month has been basically reinventing the job” of SAO. He also spoke about working with Campus Involvement and Leadership to create a “sustainable plan” that would still bring events to students, if Calvin goes fully online sooner than expected. Some plans for that include looking into live-streaming concerts, which could open up more possibilities for events but has a high price tag along with it.

Some Calvin students have expressed their disappointment in not being able to attend SAO events last spring. Junior Enma Leiva said, “It was kind of a bummer because a lot of us liked to go to the movies, especially international students and freshmen… we could share our experience and make new friends.” She also said she looks forward to going to SAO events once they start up. “It will be fun because there are not very many things going on on campus.”

Before the start of this semester, there were seven bands booked to play at Calvin, but as restrictions got tighter, all seven dropped. Despite these discouragements, the SAO staff is working hard to replace those events, and as of now there are three movies and two bands tentatively planned for the next few months.

Senior Emma Tongue is a student working as the graphic designer for SAO. She creates posters, advertisements, and promotional material for events. Although at first hesitant, she also now expresses enthusiasm for the upcoming months: “I’m very excited. For a while I was unsure what it would look like, but…I feel like it’s something unique that I have not seen at Calvin before… we will use these unusual circumstances to try something new and have some fun.”