Bonebrake brings a sense of normalcy through the screen

MINOT, N.D. – Thea Bonebrake, a director of entertainment for MSU Life, has taken on an important role in students’ lives at home.

Figuring out how to take classes online was one issue, but trying to adapt MSU Life’s events like bingo and 500 Ways to Win, an event where students chase after ping pong balls to win prizes, presented a different case for creativity.

“It has been a rollercoaster for our team to try to include all of the things we love about being on campus into a small page on Facebook and Instagram,” said Bonebrake.

With the many events that MSU Life holds come even more prizes, prizes whose winners are all over the country.

“Our office has become basically a mailroom,” she said.

Aaron Hughes, student activities coordinator, praised Bonebrake for her organization of the shipments.

“Thea is extremely detail oriented,” said Hughes. “She’s single-handedly organized the logistics of sending out over 300 packages.”

On top of handling the mail, Bonebrake has also taken on a new role as host of all the events. Hesitant at first, since she usually works behind the scenes, she adapted well.

“One of the reasons why I hired Thea last spring was because she is a go-getter and a problem solver,” Hughes said. “I had no doubts that Thea would pull it off successfully.”

“It’s strange to be sitting on campus with no one in sight, talking to my laptop knowing that all the people watching should be with me on campus,” said Bonebrake. “I love being able to see and feel the excitement when we are doing events. During normal bingo, everyone starts chattering when they get close to winning, but during virtual bingo, the silence is almost deafening.”

While it has been hard work, Bonebrake knows the students appreciate the online events.

“Behind the scenes we’re a little stressed, but the reactions students have sent us when getting their prizes in the mail makes it all worth it in the long run. We know that the red packages they receive in their mailboxes really brighten their day,” she said.

Hughes agrees.

“I'm shocked at how well the student body reacted to the virtual events we scrambled to put together,” Hughes said. “Everyone was so patient and supportive and very vocal about how thankful they were.”

“The main goal with transitioning to virtual events was to maintain a sense of normalcy for our students,” said Bonebrake. “We’ve received so much feedback about how appreciative the students are for us keeping our events going and being there for them in this weird time.

“Going virtual has definitely helped the MSU Life team realize how much the students on campus rely on our events to offer them a break from everything else going on in their lives.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/08/20   

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