Park University moves events online for the rest of the semester

Victoria Olaleye, Reporter

Different departments at Park University are coming together to create events to actively engage students online during while keeping social distances.

Director of Student Engagement, Mya Lawrence, said she is trying to encourage student organizations to still meet virtually to engage their members. This is important because seniors are still graduating, and if things are left undone for a long period, it might be difficult to continue in the fall. She also said she’s still thinking of ways to engage students who are on campus and working to create a Park presence online for all students at a distance now.

The office of student life and engagement is currently running a TikTok challenge for students to show how they are washing their hands and practicing social distancing. The link to the video entries should be posted on Crew and students stand a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. In an email, Lawrence said she started TikTok Thursdays recently, and, with classes going online, it is a way to still connect Park students.

“We’ve had a few students post videos on Crew, but not as many as I thought. Some students seem shy or timid, but we would encourage them all to participate. There is a high chance of winning one of the prizes,” she said.

Pirate Fitness, in collaboration with Om Prana yoga studio, has moved the yoga classes online until further notice. In a post made on their Crew page, Stefanie Rettenbacher stated that the move online will give students in any location a chance to try out the yoga classes. Students have been sent email on how to join. All they have to do is email their student ID numbers to the yoga instructor to get the Zoom link for the class.

Coffee and Zoom is another virtual event organized by PSAB that would be scheduled weekly to have students come online and have discussions. The event is set to start on April 1 at 11am and would be organized by PSAB executive members. Students can join via the zoom links that will be sent their email as well on Crew.

In an email sent out on March 27 by Lawrence, the office of student life announced a virtual painting event that will be held on April 15 at 6:45p m. Supplies will be provided for students living on campus who RSVP before 10 a.m. on April 1.

“Each painter will be guided virtually step-by-step, stroke by stroke, to ensure they create their very own masterpiece,” the email stated.

Also, in the same email, students who would like to take a walk solo or in a small group of five or less are provided a link to walk on Park’s designated trails. In an email, Lawrence said, “Park has always had designated walking areas. I wanted to make sure students were aware and give them options for getting out of the dorms and getting some fresh air.”

Park After Dark won’t be rescheduled until fall 2020 according to Jessica Thompson, Park University director of daytime admissions, who said in an email: “We will pick up our next Park After Dark in fall 2020 once we are in the clear.”

Students can get information about Park by following the official Instagram handle for Park admissions departments.

She also said the office is rolling out a weekly series where prospective Park University students can actively engage and learn steps for enrollment, selecting their major, exploring the many services and activities offered, planning for college as a high school and/or transfer student, and much more.

Students can schedule a live one-on-one virtual campus visit with the admissions staff. They can also sign up to attend a virtual Get On Board Day event as a transfer student or first-time freshman.

On April 1, the career development center will be hosting a virtual resume workshop meeting to tell students what a resume should look like and what to avoid. Students have been sent the Zoom link via email.

Conversation partners, an event regularly scheduled on Wednesdays, has also moved online. A Zoom link to join the conversation was emailed to students on March 23.

Many departments and organizations are working toward creating events online to engage students, and students are encouraged to look out for the announcements in Crew, emails and social media pages of Park organizations.

“Previously planned events will be moved to a virtual experience or canceled as warranted. New activities will be scheduled virtually for the rest of the semester. Students should monitor for our current calendar of events,” said President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., in an email.