MISHAWAKA- BABE Week is a Bethel University tradition; this year, it was held from Feb. 13-18. BABE stands for Be Authentic, Be Empowered and is an opportunity for women in the Bethel community to have fellowship together.
Annie Bennett, resident director of Tuckey Hall, was one of the organizers for many of the BABE Week events.
“BABE Week began nearly ten years ago with the idea of taking time out of what could otherwise be a dreary winter month, to spend time in community within the dorms and as a campus,” Bennett said. “This is an important tradition to campus life because it allows students to step away from the business of classes and other responsibilities and gives them the opportunity to get to know their peers better, learn more about Christ’s vision for community, and seek out new friendships.”
The female resident directors at Bethel, Annie Bennett, Michelle Mason and Jessi Flores did most of the planning for the week. Campus leaders such as resident assistants and commuter assistants also had input on the events of the week.
“The goal of this week is to have students feel more connected with other women on campus,” Bennett said. “We tried to do a lot of things together as a whole to give students the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones a bit to befriend people from other dorms or living arrangements. We also planned some individual events to deepen connections without our dorms.”
The week started out with a tailgate kickoff at Gates Gymnasium. On Monday there was a Valentine’s Day cookie decorating event for all. Tuesday there were individual dorm events held: Tuckey made macrame plant hanger; Bridges had a spa night; Founders had a game night in the Academic Center; Shupe had a slip n’ slide; and the Commuters had a movie night in the Commuter Lounge. On Wednesday morning, there was a panel in the auditorium let by President Barb Bellefeuille, Ed.D., Lifase Mpasu, Michelle Fish, Ed.D. and Coach Katie Weiss. Wednesday night there were co-dorm events in pairs. Shupe and Founders went to the women’s basketball game and Tuckey and Bridges held a PowerPoint Night and ate ice cream. Thursday night was supposed to be an all-women’s Zumba night in the gymnasium, but due to weather it had to be postponed. In place of Zumba, individual dorms held events on their own: Shupe had a movie night; Tuckey played Just Dance; Bridges had a game night; Founders painted canvases.
Friday night culminated the week with a retreat at St. Mark’s Missionary Church. From 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., women from campus gathered at the church for games, fellowship, movies, snacks, coffee and worship lead by Emily Dollinger, Haley Miller, Shelby Koteskey, Autumn Holtgren and Ana Dekker.
The theme for the week was “Come Together,” a theme drawn from scripture.
“As the resident directors were brainstorming for a theme, we came across Hebrews 10:24-25,” Bennet said. “The writer of these verses talks about encouraging one another, and not tiring of meeting together. We read it in several different translations, and after reading the Passion translation, the phrase ’come together’ stuck out.”
Bennett said the hope is for the community of BABE Week to extend far beyond the end of the festivities.
“Our desire is to be women who lift each other up, motivate one another, and get excited for one another through different phases of life,” Bennett said. “These verses and that phrase seemed life way to describe our goal of coming together as a campus to be a part of an encouraging community through Christ.”