The Los Banos Campus of Merced College have given a new twist to TGIF. Once a month this fall, college personnel say, “Thank goodness it’s Fri-Yay!”

“Fri-Yay!” is the term Merced College uses to describe a monthly Friday afternoon at both the Merced and  Los Banos campuses when college employees are provided the time to reset, reconnect and renew by gathering together to have fun.

This year one of the college’s goals is to ensure employees have a space to reset after being hit hard with a pandemic, to reconnect with their colleagues, and to renew those relationships. From this arose the idea for a series of Blue Devil Fri-YAY! events.

The Los Banos Campus had its first Blue Devil Fri-YAY! Sept. 2. It was an opportunity for colleagues to connect and take a step back from their day-to-day demands.

The event started with a campus potluck at noon, followed by bingo at 1 p.m., Merced College Trivia at 2:30 p.m., and an Ice Cream Social and Employee Club Rush at 4 p.m.

For the club rush employees signed up to become a member of clubs that were created by other employees. These clubs will provide opportunities for colleagues to connect with one another based on their shared interests.

Los Banos has two employee clubs, The Gardening Club and the Walking Club. Planned activities include gardening projects to beautify the campus’s food forest and planned trips to get out for a walk. The upcoming Friday events can be used for these endeavors.

Future events will be held on Oct. 14, Nov. 4, Dec. 16, Feb. 17, Mar. 17, Apr. 21 and May 5.

“The Merced College family is grateful for these opportunities,” said Jessica Moran, Dean of the Los Banos Campus. “It gives colleagues a chance to reset, reconnect with each other and renew. The bonds we form go a long way in helping us do what we do best:  educating, serving and supporting our students.”

The Westside Express