Student engagement, activities continue online

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Source: Utica College

Gianna Cognetti, Features Editor

As UC takes precautionary measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, notifications have been sent via email that student extracurriculars have discontinued. 

Sports, clubs, along with multiple events are a large part of the UC experience. Although all in-person activities have been cancelled, Assistant Director of College Engagement Jason Francey said he encourages students to stay connected through various forms of technology.  

Living in the technology era keeps student clubs and organizations together. Clubs can use this time to continue engaging students, promote more about their organization and plan for next semester. 

“We highly recommend our clubs and organizations still get together virtually through Discord, Zoom, etcetera, to check in on each other and to plan to come back stronger next year,” Francey said.

Contacting the organizations that were hosting larger events, such as Relay for Life which is usually held in April, were up for possible postponement. However, Francey said the governor’s order restricting all social gatherings made postponing events impossible. 

“It became clear everything had to be cancelled,” Francey said. 

With this, the next step was to contact the vendors that were contracted with UC. Many factors go into cancelling events on campus regarding refunds, scheduling for different times and other solutions regarding cancelling last minute.

“Some vendors allowed us to cancel and a refund was issued,” Francey said, “Others we worked with to come up with a new date in the fall.”

Francey and the rest of the college engagement team made it possible for students to engage in other initiatives by following @traxthemoose on Instagram. There are ways students can join live meditation sessions, at-home workouts and many other forms of student life. 

“We will be hosting all sorts of fun initiatives including trivia, live meditation sessions, at home workouts,” Francey said. 

Francey also said various museums and theaters offer live tours, art demonstrations and live streams free of charge. 

“A list will be added to Pioneer Place for anyone interested,” Francey said.

Social distancing is a must during this pandemic, however, SLCE is still open and accepting phone calls or emails.

 Students shared their opinions on the efforts taken to continue engaging students from home. 

Sophomore Natalie Devine said she enjoys the fact UC is making student engagement a priority.

“I think it’s pretty awesome that UC is trying to keep most things as if we were back on campus,” Devine said. 

Although, in order to enhance the program further, Devine hopes the home workouts can be available through pre-recorded video or scheduled video conferencing for all students interested. 

“I think it would be cool if there were home workouts for everyone, including students that are not athletes,” she said. 

Sophomore Bailee Riesterer said she believes it is important to keep busy engaging with UC and its students despite staying home. 

“I think keeping yourself busy is good and not just sitting around all day,” she said.

Riesterer said she supports college engagement for continuing to create a space for students to go for de-stressing and fun activities. 

“It is a good idea because it gives students something to do besides school work,” she said.


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