Coming into this semester, one of my biggest concerns was how our campus community would be able to maintain the traditions that make SLU what it is. Being a Laurentian also means taking part in the amazing traditions that provide us with memories of SLU that are unforgettable and cherished by many. From Family Weekend, Folk Fest, Titus weekend, theme dinners in Dana, and more, there are traditions at St. Lawrence that leave their mark on us and hold a sentimental value that can be hard to explain to someone who has never experienced them.
So, while I am overjoyed to be back on campus this fall despite the challenges we have been facing due to COVID-19, I was worried about how we would be able to carry on those traditions. I wondered how the class of 2024 would be able to carry these on if they never experience them for themselves. I know many students share this thought and general concern across our campus community. Nevertheless, our Laurentian community has shown up this semester the way they always do. While the way we are able to carry out our traditions has changed, they are very much so still alive and well.
For example, this year we were still able to carry out one of my favorite SLU traditions: Peak Weekend. Peak Weekend is an annual event put on by the Outing Club where we try to get at least one SLU student on each of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks on the same weekend. It takes place during the pinnacle of fall foliage in October and is a great way to get outside and appreciate the beauty of the Adirondacks with fellow SLU students. This year Peak Weekend looked a little different, but the tradition carried on as it always does.
This year’s Peak Weekend did not include all 46 high peaks, there were no overnight trips, and the groups that set out for the mountains were a bit smaller than usual. There were a few groups who hiked High Peaks and other groups did smaller mountains. I hiked Haystack Mountain which is part of the “Saranac Six”. It was a beautiful 6.6-mile out-and-back hike that made for the perfect use of a North Country fall day.
Keeping the tradition of Peak Weekend alive allowed for a bit of a feeling of normalcy. The comfort of tradition is a comfort St. Lawrence provides students within the many events and gatherings we have as a campus community throughout each academic year.
While things around here may look different, our community is more dedicated than ever to carry on what it means to be a Laurentian. This has provided me the familiar feelings I have while being at SLU and partaking in events that have a special spot in my heart, such as Peak Weekend. This semester has been more of a success than I could have imagined just three months ago, and I am more than excited to see how we can rally together again next semester and continue to carry on the traditions of SLU that have bonded us together as Laurentians for years.