So You are Hosting a Department Event…

Over the years, I have been tasked to host team-building and social events. Below are some events that are easy to organize, had a good turn out, and are cheap – always important when you are on a grad student budget.

Book Club
This is a classic event. Our selections have ranged from contemporary novels, to classics, to memoirs and theory. Normally we do this over brunch, but I have attended Zoom book clubs as well. Public libraries are great places to find selections and numerous copies of popular books.

Halloween 5k
During the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the few things we could do was be outside. For Halloween one year, I organized an informal race where we could run/walk in our costumes.
If Halloween is not your thing, I’ve also seen friends organize charity races for a local food bank or other non-profit.

Pop, Pop, and Pop
Some departments have tea time or happy hours; I have opted for the Population Studies department to have popcorn and soda (pop). 

Sporting Events
This is an easy one to plan and often tickets are free for students. I have taken groups to women’s hockey, football, and lacrosse games.

Kraft, Craft, and Craft
This event involves eating Kraft mac and cheese, doing arts and crafts (pumpkin carving, snowflake making, painted rocks, knitting), and sipping on a craft beer (or a soda or seltzer).

Valentine’s Potluck Brunch
At my old job, our group, the Reproductive Health and Family Formation, did a meet-and-greet Valentine’s Potluck Brunch. It was a great way to hear what research and projects our co-workers were doing.