Normally, the Events week is the most popular time of the year for NUCU, with hundreds of students crowding into a marquee to hear talks and discussions on Christianity and enjoy food and entertainment.
The marquee is usually open all day too, complete with barista coffee, sofas and free books. This year will be unlike any other.
Spread over two weeks rather than the usual one, there will be six online events running between Monday 1 March and Friday 12 March. Evening events will be livestreamed each Monday and Friday of that fortnight, with lunchtime events on Wednesdays.
All six events will be broadcast from a covid-safe studio via their YouTube channel, NewcastleCU, with speakers and hosts discussing a range of topics relevant to student experiences in 2021, including how Christians respond to the BLM movement and the impact of Covid-19 on Student Mental Health.
These will all tie into the fortnight’s theme, ‘Unexpected’. After each evening event there will be a social on Zoom that will be free for everyone to join, with quizzes, games nights and lots of prizes to be won.
A timetable of the events can be seen below:
NUCU events secretary, Emily Eldridge, told The Courier that she and the whole Committee team were grateful for the huge amount of support and encouragement they’d had in planning the events.
"Having an amazing team who is so willing to adapt and jump straight in has definitely made the whole process a massive joy amongst the stress!", she said.
When asked how they came up with the name ‘Unexpected’, she explained, "This whole past year has been unexpected in so many ways, with our whole lives being flipped upside down. We wanted to take two weeks to look at the unexpected hope we have in Jesus and why through all these barriers and never-ending restrictions we can still focus on the one thing we believe is always our constant: our Heavenly Father".
Emily also shared the challenges she’s experienced on committee this year, saying that learning to navigate a whole new territory of online events and socials while still maintaining and building new relationships has been one of the biggest.
"Having university online means people are a bit overwhelmed with Zoom and Teams, so being able to combat ‘Zoom fatigue’ has been super challenging", she explained, "and having such a big reliance on technology is scary".
Nevertheless, Emily remains optimistic about the aim of the Events week, saying she hopes the Events Week would allow the CU to share their belief that Jesus is the Son of God, that God loves each one of us and that he saved us from a life of uncertainty and restrictions and gives us one of hope and eternal happiness in heaven.
If you’d like to attend ‘Unexpected’ or find out more about NUCU, visit their pages on Facebook: Newcastle University Christian Union, Instagram: @NewcastleChristianUnion or email firstname.lastname@example.org.