Students remain involved on campus throughout the pandemic

Photo Courtesy | John Swanson

Student turnout to campus events hasn’t dropped this school year

With the pandemic causing a shift in learning, there has also been a shift in how some campus events have been held as well. Zoom has been utilized not only for classes but for events, which has raised some questions about whether student involvement would be affected.

Nicole Askew, the Coordinator of Campus Activities, spoke about the approach they have taken towards events throughout the school year because of Covid-19 and what they have learned from virtual events.

“We’ve started implementing more of a grab-and-go system where students can come and still see each other in person, but then they take maybe a craft kit,” Askew said. One of the events they have held allowed students to plant their own succulents with the grab-and-go kit allowing students to go with their friends and put the kits together.

Despite having to adapt to a new way of holding events, Askew said that the turnout hasn’t dropped. “We’ve actually seen an uptick in the number of students that we normally would see which is great and I think that’s just because we’ve made our events so much more accessible.”

“We’ve allowed students to either come the night of the event we have or they can pick up their kits during the week before so then that way if they’re not comfortable even coming that night, they can still at least participate.”

The events that are held over Zoom have had the same amount of turnout as typical events do.

When it comes to the virtual events, Askew said that keeping students engaging is important. Events that entail listening to a speaker or a musical act aren’t as engaging for students. “They might come and show up and stay for a little bit, but they’re not going to stay for the entire time and have that engagement,” Askew said.

“So we’ve really tried to shift things and change them if we’re going to do them virtually, how can we make sure students are engaged and they have an opportunity to talk to each other and get to know each other.”

Askew said that this has made them realize how they can utilize virtual events in the future once all events are held in-person. This can allow student activities to record events including speakers and musical acts and post them to their website so students who couldn’t attend can still watch.

“I definitely think even once we go back to normal, there will be so much that we take from what we’ve learned and continue to implement into next year.”

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