Keeping students engaged remotely

Campus orgs have been adjusting to the continuation of the spring semester away from campus. It is a difficult task to keep students engaged and to change programming that org members had been planning for months, but Campus Entertainment Network (CEN), the Multicultural Student Union (MSU) and the Inter-Residence Hall Association (IRHA) are making the most of the situation. 

The CEN board is looking forward to the rest of the semester while they discover ways to do programs online despite the changes.

“Our board is extremely excited to take [on] online programming,” said the CEN board. “Some ideas that we will be exploring are social media giveaways and games. We are also planning on doing some other events that will be fun and [we have an] amazing surprise for the entire student body.”

CEN has already made it possible to enjoy usual campus entertainment from home. They currently are hosting a virtual magic show that was made available to students and their families from April 10 to April 17. Students just need the password to a Vimeo video that can be found on the CEN social media accounts. 

“We are very upset with the cancellation of our events that we were really looking forward to,” the CEN board said. “But, we are not letting it stop us from making sure the student body is still getting opportunities to stay involved and have fun while stuck in quarantine.”

MSU transitioned to online meetings on Zoom and plans on having its e-board elections soon. The org is still in the process of discussing possible programming for the rest of the semester, but the MSU social media accounts will be used to continue to connect to the student body. 

“Given the situation with COVID-19, MSU had to cancel our Stay Woke Week spring series,” said MSU President Carmen Mei. “It was difficult to accept given that the general members and e-board worked so hard to ensure we would have a full week dedicated to social justice issues that were important to [us].”

 “I’m really proud of all MSU members and the hard work they put into planning those events. We hope to be able to put on these events for our fall Stay Woke Week next semester.”

IRHA is also holding meetings on Zoom and believes that keeping the routine of holding meetings can help with the transition to online engagement. 

“IRHA has been disrupted through programming,” said Carly Egan, president of IRHA. “We had fun programs planned for campus and our hall councils had fun programs planned for their residential communities. Even in the wake of this disruption, we are eager to listen to student needs and provide entertainment to the best of our abilities.”

IRHA is exploring ways to use social media to keep students engaged during this difficult time. The e-board is trying to find ways for students to have fun while they are away from campus and their residence halls. 

“Understanding that this is a confusing time, as mentioned we are striving to provide scheduled meeting times and engaging meetings to carry on business as normal. This includes our elections,” Egan said.

 “We are also working on supporting each other, as hawks fly together. It is important to our organization that our general assembly members and members of the Roger Williams community feel supported during these times.”