Virtual GatorFest! kicks off Fall semester

Students at a beachfront back-to-school event

San Francisco State University students celebrate during a 2019 GatorFest! beach event.

The newly expanded celebration of SF State community and academics runs through Oct. 1

The San Francisco State University campus might be quieter than usual as the beginning of the Fall semester approaches, but that’s only because the excitement has moved online. As the University prepares for a mostly virtual Fall semester to begin Monday, Aug. 24, the San Francisco State community is welcoming both new and returning students via the annual GatorFest! kickoff celebrations — all of them online this year due to concerns about COVID-19.

Though last year’s GatorFest! was a week long, this year it will run for two months, kicking off Monday, Aug. 17, and continuing through Thursday, Oct. 1.

“This year more than ever it’s critical that our incoming new and transfer students feel connected,” said Director of Student Activities & Events Mia Reisweber, a Gatorfest! co-chair. “This is the primary focus of GatorFest! this year. All Gators needs to feel connected to one another and to our University.”

There will be more than 50 online events the first week of the celebration, including mixers, orientations, department open houses, virtual tours and more. All of the events will be hosted through Zoom and the SF State community portal GatorXperience, with easy-access links available on the GatorFest! webpage. The following weeks will feature even more offerings: a series of special guest webinars called Chompfest, streaming entertainment, TailGator virtual tailgate parties and more.

“We are carefully crafting events and programs to foster shared moments between our students, even through Zoom. GatorFest! is about the authentic Gator experience, and we think this year’s lineup will provide just that,” said Reisweber. “We’re confident that this year’s events will brings students together and strengthen our Gator community.”

For more about GatorFest! go to the New Student Programs website.