Getting involved, virtually

Campus organizations create more opportunities for online connection this fall

Gabe Sta Maria, Staff Reporter

Illustration by Gabrialla Cockerell

In the midst of the fall season, Seattle Pacific University and the staff of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL) are figuring out ways to get students involved with COVID-19 restrictions still active.

Virtual events have been the main point of connection organized for students this school year, and with heavy protocols still in place, students are exposed to different methods of interaction with each other. Assistant Director of OSIL Yikhwan Dillard explained the adjustments being made.

“Our mentality has never been, ‘hey let’s set up these specific programs,’ but more so, ‘let’s remember the ethos and the mission of our department,” Dillard said. “That really is helping students to connect with one another, helping students to learn, helping students to lead, and providing resources.” 

Dillard also talked about upcoming virtual events that OSIL is excited to provide students with this month. 

“On the 27th, We have a trivia night in conjunction with Hillton area council and on the 30th we’ll be connecting with Emerson-Arnett area council to do a pumpkin carving night and a movie,” Dillard said.

A lot of effort goes into planning these events for the students. Even if the turnout is not huge, it is worth it to OSIL. 

“The numbers have been definitely on the low side but I have always found that students who do come actually get a lot out of it,” Dillard said. “I think students just appreciate that we’re trying to do something to provide an experience that is hopefully fun and meaningful.”

Dillard and OSIL remain hopeful that at some point later this school year, restrictions will be lifted, resulting in regular student events. 

Freshman Luke Hannan is staying involved in his own way while still following COVID-19 guidelines. 

“It’s been more difficult and challenging, but it hasn’t been impossible. I’ve been just exploring around Fremont and Ballard, going to tourist locations has been fun, like Gasworks Park, and Dick’s burgers.” Hannan said. “I am also looking forward to going to pumpkin patches this fall because in my hometown, that’s very common, so it gives me a taste of home, also exploring the Washington coastline.”

Hannan has also been participating in events organized by OSIL through SPU engage.

“I’ve been to the student ministries event, I liked how they talked about different options of faith based events that you can go do,” Hannan said. “I went to a couple game nights on SPU engage, especially the involve-o-rama, which was super sick.”

Hannan has embraced the opportunities presented to him on campus and is looking forward to engaging himself even more later this school year.

Students and the SPU administration are optimistic that engagement with the school community will improve as the year progresses, especially when Spring quarter comes around.