CSA Keeps Campus Community Alive Online

    Journalism and electronic media major Ann Siock, Jefferson Township, wrote this article for a spring 2020 media writing course taught by communication and media professor Kim Pavlick, Ph.D.
    May 28, 2020

    By Ann Slock ’21, written for a media writing course, spring semester 2020

    “I can’t remember the last person I’ve had a non-digital encounter with outside my family. ” said Kevin Bowery, a junior theology and information technology double major at The University of Scranton said.

    Bowery, like many others, has begun to grow restless in the wake of social distancing because of COVID-19.

    Andrew Faulkner, a first-year accounting major at the University responded similarly.

    “For me, it’s a tie between having the opportunity for some pre-class socialization with my friends and having actual lectures. It just isn’t the same online,” Faulkner said.

    While an official end to social distancing policies across the country is still in question, The University of Scranton’s clubs decided to bring the community to the students through various online events and social media campaigns to keep students engaged in the campus community while at home.

    Alana Siock, a junior French and Francophone cultural studies and political science double major, president of the Commuter Student Association (CSA), and director of operations for the club council board of directors said that while entering social distancing was difficult for the CSA board, they have committed to producing virtual events for members to attend.

    “We had to cancel one of the biggest events this semester,” Siock said, “We didn’t let it stop us.”

    Scranton’s CSA has since been reworking their spring programming, reconfiguring older events and starting to brainstorm new activities that could keep their club members and others in the University community engaged with the school outside of class.

    This has taken the form of weekly trivia nights with prizes being given to the winners, as well as social media campaigns geared toward keeping students creative even as they are stuck inside. For these campaigns club members submit everything from favorite homemade foods to songs that can be added to a special quarantine soundtrack, lovingly dubbed ‘Quarantunes,’ on the club’s Spotify account.

    The CSA has even created a virtual forum on Discord to simulate the student forum on campus to allow students to interact throughout the day.

    While students are grateful for the attempts being made to try to bring their Scranton experience online, the separation has taught them valuable lessons about the University community.

    “The Scranton community thrives on face-to-face communications. Scranton students never fail to greet each other enthusiastically, with a hug, high five or a fist bump,” Bowery said. “I never took the time for granted, but I wish I had appreciated each moment even more than I did.”

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