A welcoming and active first year

Even with fewer in-person activities this year, Veeka Malanchuk joined the a cappella group, deepened her interests in the Russian language, and decided to walk every day on the indoor track in Beloit’s new Powerhouse student union and rec center.


Veeka Malanchuk, a native of Atlanta, one of Covid’s summertime hotspots, was relieved that Beloit students took the virus seriously, even as Wisconsin’s cases rose in the fall. “I was expecting rules [at Beloit], but I was expecting it to be like Georgia, where people didn’t really follow them and didn’t really care,” Veeka says. “I was happy and surprised that [students] were following them here.”

Veeka visited campus in February and felt a connection with the students she met. She stayed overnight in Russian House and is already expecting to major in the modern language. “My mom raised me, but my grandma was pure Russian and I only learned Russian from her,” she says. “So I know grammar, but I don’t know bad words or slang, so I can speak, but it’s grandma Russian.” She is also learning in Russian Club.

Although most activities are online, she’s putting herself out there to meet new people. “I’m in the a capella group, I’ll be moving into Russian house next semester, and I swore I wouldn’t do this, but I might join a sorority,” she says.

She thinks Beloit’s “mods”—taking two 7.5-week classes—have worked out for her so far. “I like that it’s quick; you have to get to the point of every class. My classes so far have been manageable.”

Her solution for sitting during online sessions and Zoom-related aches and pains? “I walk the track every day, like a mom,” she jokes, referring to the suspended lanes in the Powerhouse. “I’m on there for like two hours straight every day. I talk to people on the phone and I walk. I see the people who are regulars—we know each other now because I walk past them every few minutes.”

December 10, 2020

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