Continuing to engage students with new online format

STUB, OSIL host online events hoping to raise spirits of student body

Hannah Flores, Staff Reporter

A screenshot of a zoom dance party
Jenna Rasmussen
Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL) and KSPU invited students to join the Zoom platform for a dance party. Students who joined were directed to a link to the KSPU radio station and listen to the music and danced with other familiar faces within the gallery. Not everyone who joined showed their faces, and overall less than 50 students participated.

Junior Bea Bouman danced enthusiastically through the halls to the roaring pop music played at the April 24 online dance party hosted by the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL) in collaboration with the Student Union Board (STUB). 

“My friend and I were able to join the dance party on Zoom and we had a great time. We were able to have a fun experience while keeping social distance … I would consider attending an event like this in the future,” they said. 

OSIL continues to host exciting events in order to provide students with an opportunity to connect with each other in unique ways during a time when public gatherings and large events are prohibited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the cancellation of many on-campus events throughout the remainder of the school year, OSIL staff members want to keep students connected and involved with campus life.

Yikhwan Dillard, the assistant director of the OSIL team and coordinator of the Outdoor Recreation Program (ORP), shared that, although he misses face-to-face connection with the student body, he is thankful for the technology that allows everyone to stay connected through this time.

“When you have a team like [OSIL] sometimes the setting of our plans can change but we still want to fulfill our mission, even if it’s online,” Dillard said. 

Whether through Zoom or via the STUB and OSIL Instagram pages, the team has worked hard to provide a means of connection for the student body. 

Due to health and safety concerns, the dynamic of public events has changed dramatically. As per Governor Inslee’s decision, gatherings of more than ten individuals are currently prohibited and have been postponed or cancelled. 

With this change, the OSIL team has faced the difficult task of determining how to make the university’s quarterly events accessible to the student body. 

Alli Bautista, OSIL’s campus program coordinator, expressed her sadness about the bittersweet transition from connecting with students on campus to meeting online. 

Bautista added that this has been a heartbreaking time because of all the events that the students are missing as the school year wraps up. 

“These students and clubs have worked tirelessly throughout the year to plan such amazing events like the MODE fashion show and various events for Culture Week, and none of it gets to really happen,” she said. 

Although the transition to an online setting has been frustrating, the OSIL staff continues to see positive feedback from the student body. 

Bouman shared that they believe STUB and OSIL offer a variety of events that have made it easier for students to engage with the student body. 

“I feel like STUB and OSIL are doing everything they can to keep us all connected,” they said. 

Bouman said that, even though there is a stark difference between the in-person events and online events, they can still be fun. 

“I feel like it has a lot to do with your attitude. If you go to an event expecting it to be awkward, of course you would act and feel that way,” they said. 

Bouman said their perception of a situation affects their experience. But also, they were looking forward to a lighthearted evening in which they could relax from the stress of school so the dance was just as enjoyable online as it would have been in person. 

The core focus of STUB and OSIL during this time is creating a community for the student body despite the lack of physical presence. 

“I’ve been really encouraged by the level of involvement online … I’m glad that people who are craving community at this time are finding it,” Bautista said. 

It is difficult to quantify success,  Dillard and Bautista agreed, but with the move online, they feel as though they are still able to provide adequate means of engagement for the students. 

“We’re getting a lot of students who normally may not enjoy these types of events that are starting to interact with STUB and OSIL through the online setting,” Dillard said. 

Bautista echoed Dillard. She said that the online format has opened communication between many students who may be uncomfortable attending in-person events and who are engaging with OSIL events more now than before. 

According to Dillard, OSIL staff worked tirelessly to continue offering quality events to the student body. Thus far, the feedback has been very positive. 

“I got an email the other day where a student thanked us for working so hard in efforts to create a community for the students,” Dillard said.

Dillard added that the OSIL staff does not usually receive direct feedback, so it was nice to see that their efforts are paying off. 

STUB and OSIL have found ways to provide the student body with a positive and fun environment in which students can stay connected with their friends, and even establish new relationships with students with whom they may not normally get the chance to interact. 

“I’m really thankful that [the internet] exists at this time because it allows us to be able to connect,” Bautista said. 

For more information and event updates follow OSIL via Instagram (@spu_osil) or check out their engage page at