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Despite online format, Wintersession enrolls over 1,500 participants

Fountain of Freedom ice
The Fountain of Freedom in Scudder Plaza.
Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

Wintersession’s main registration window has closed with 1,666 members of the Princeton community enrolled in at least one event and close to two-thirds of workshops full, according to Judy Jarvis, director for Wintersession and campus engagement. 

“Hands-on workshops were definitely sought-after, whether it was weaving, cooking, or ceramics. STEM-centric workshops were also very popular. Intro-level courses across topic areas also tended to fill up quickly,” Jarvis wrote to The Daily Princetonian. 


Though all undergraduate students may return to campus for the spring semester, Wintersession will remain online, so that students who elect to remain home may participate and students who have arrived on campus may adhere to quarantine restrictions.

Between Jan. 18–31, Wintersession will comprise 207 daytime events and 30 evening event for students, faculty, and staff.  From Dec. 30 through Jan. 8., the program will hold another round of registration for sessions that still have spots open and evening events.

One unique workshop is a cooking basics class, which President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83 will host. Jarvis said, “Wintersession is a chance for us to meet or remeet people outside of our normal roles, and I think it sends a strong message when the University president wants to take part and support alternative community engagement and learning spaces like Wintersession.”

“With the whirlwind for 2020, we knew the opportunity to connect with the campus community during Wintersession would be even more important for everyone, and we are looking forward to graduate and undergraduate students, staff, and faculty engaging and exploring together in January,” wrote Leanna Jahnke, program coordinator for Wintersession and campus engagement.

Early registration yielded a high turnout, with 779 students signing up for at least one event and 63 events filling up, Jarvis said. 

A student team of Campus Engagement Specialists, comprised of Shanaz Deen ’21, Kakuyon Mataeh ’23, Nemo Newman ’23, and Leonela Serrano ’22, as well as Abyssinia Lissanu ’16, a graduate student in the School of Public and International Affairs, helped run registration. 


On behalf of the team, Lissanu wrote, “We’ve managed to adapt our sessions to the virtual environment by providing students and facilitators with the same resources that they would get in person. For example, if a student signs up for a cooking class, we will ship them the ingredients to make the food at home!”

The team encouraged students to continue registering. “Some of our diversity and inclusion sessions still have available slots,” Lissanu wrote, “and we’d love more people to take part!”

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