Online learning screen

Freddy Gonzalez, a biochemistry major at Orange Coast College, has been looking to de-stress during the “new normal” of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

While Gonzalez was browsing the OCC app on his phone, he discovered that weekly virtual events were being held on Zoom. He enjoyed his first experience and has now attended a majority of virtual events promoted on the app this semester like Friendsgiving, Guided Meditation, Noontime Trivia, Game Night, and Snack Time with OCC.

“It’s a good way to take a break,” Gonzalez said. “They are really fun.”

These are some of the many events that the OCC Student Life and Leadership Department has been hosting on Zoom during fall semester in an attempt to unite students and boost morale during a time when we must remain physically isolated from the rest of the student body. Events will soon be scheduled for Spring 2021. 

OCC Student Leadership Director, Michael Morvice, is always looking to schedule virtual events and workshops that help students in a multitude of ways.

There are two types of events: community-building events focus on social interaction like games and conversation, while self-development events are led by presenters or in a workshop format.

Here is a breakdown of some of the events that can be found on the calendar.

  • “Noontime Trivia” invites students to test their knowledge of pop-culture for a prize.
  • “Guided Meditation” helps new and experienced people to meditate and find their calm.
  • “Geeky Teatime” aims to create a safe space for “geeks and non-geeks” to chat about different fandoms.
  • “Snack Time with OCC” partners with OCC’s Nutrition and Dietetics department to recommend easy snacks to boost your well-being and brainpower.
  • “The Pirate Leadership Series” hosts varying self-development workshops.

In addition to the above recurring events, Student Life and Leadership has also partnered with other departments to present ASOCC virtual events like holiday drives, game nights, yoga, movie nights, and the Pirate Involvement Fair.

During this pandemic, staying proactive about your own mental and physical health is important. Surveys across the nation have indicated that people are experiencing rising stress levels and negative mental health effects due to the COVID-19 pandemic.According to the CDC, stress can harm the body in a multitude of ways. The CDC has also recommended taking actions to cope with the stress from the pandemic before physical and mental effects worsen. 

The Student Life and Leadership Department would like to reduce those effects by providing these events. By attending Zoom events, students can stay social and meet peers from the comfort of their own home. Since the majority of students are staying at home, it can also be a great opportunity for self-improvement and forming new healthy habits which are discussed in the workshops.

Gonzalez has already begun to carry over the knowledge he learned from the events into his life. He plans to continue meditating and eating better snacks over the winter break.

“The events have been really helpful,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez is looking forward to future virtual events. 

Morvice is looking at the feedback and data from the events this semester to develop plans for the Spring 2021 semester. He wishes more people knew about the events. Next semester the department will focus on spreading awareness so that more students have the opportunity to attend. 

“The goal is to identify ways students can get involved,” Morvice said.

The department conducted a 2020 Fall Engagement Survey to collect student feedback that will be used to plan the schedule for this spring. Events will resume on the first day of the semester.

For more information on the Student Life and Leadership Department and the Associated Students of OCC events, visit the OCC calendar online or on the OCC App.

You can also follow @ASOCC on social media for updates.

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