Student Services Spotlight: Student Activities Office
The HFC Student Activities Office (SAO) has gone virtual with its programming and strives to enhance the College experience of students during this social-distancing period.
A virtual activity platform has been developed to keep students connected and engaged. Throughout the semester, programs are offered that are live, online, and interactive. Most programs are facilitated via Zoom and invite participation via a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Opportunities for adult students to get involved
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, various student activity programs offered students campus-based, in-person, co-curricular experiences and were tailored primarily toward traditional-age students. Evening, weekend, and online program offerings were limited, partially due to the busy schedules, family and work obligations, and other time constraints for non-traditional students at HFC. Many adult students had less time to devote to co-curricular activities.
Now that the College is operating remotely, student programming has been converted to a virtual format and is 100 percent online, according to HFC Student Activities Officer Cassandra Fluker. This is an opportunity for the SAO to expand its reach and direct some of the programming to non-traditional students and other student populations of the College.
SAO is taking advantage of the opportunity to engage students through a virtual learning environment that provides flexibility, adaptability, and accessibility. This makes it ideal for students who couldn't otherwise participate in outside-of-classroom activities. Some of HFC’s co-curricular programs are recorded and are made available for viewing up to two weeks or longer, which also provides an opportunity for students to participate after the fact.
Virtual Welcome Back Days
An example of this online experience was the Fall Welcome Back Days that took place in mid-September to familiarize students with the new campus life virtual platform. The event featured student clubs, a support services fair, a keynote presentation, activities, voter registration.
The flexible scheduling allowed for optimal student engagement, stated Fluker. There will be a similar Welcome Back Days event during the Winter 2021 Semester.
“SAO keeps students involved and engaged, and that will never change,” said Fluker. “SAO is based on the philosophy that co-curricular involvement helps students become well-rounded, responsible individuals throughout their lives. SAO seeks to provide a variety of learning opportunities for students outside the classroom that assist with their intellectual, personal, professional, social, and leadership development.”
Some of the upcoming virtual events include:
Boom Boom Bingo (with a live DJ, sing-alongs, dancing, and prizes) on Thursday, Nov. 12, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Register: The Zoom link will be available soon. Check the SAO website.
**Stay tuned for more offerings on the HFC calendar at hfcc.edu/events.
HFC has approximately 35 registered student clubs. Only a few are meeting at this time because many students are still adapting to their new style of learning. This is proving to be a real challenge for some, according to Fluker. Involvement in student clubs may help students feel less overwhelmed and more connected.
“Our active clubs meet primarily via Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and are encouraged to stay connected and support one another for their well-being,” said Fluker. “Although each student club has its own individual mission, clubs are also encouraged to work together and think of virtual activities to sponsor as they relate to current issues, such as the pandemic, stress, mental health, racial and social injustices, housing and food insecurities, etc. These topics are suggested because they are issues that affect the nation, and everyone could benefit from the information and events.”
To join a club, students may visit the SAO’s clubs webpage to read the descriptions of the student groups at HFC and complete a “club interest” form. Students may also form a new club if their area of interest is not represented. Requirements are noted on the club webpage.
Pre-registration is required
Most programs for student clubs at HFC require pre-registration. Virtual activities are planned throughout the semester. Events are posted on the SAO social media accounts and the College website. To stay abreast of the upcoming virtual activities, students are encouraged to follow the SAO on Instagram and Facebook @hfcstudentactivities.
The SAO has also developed a way for students to remain active in the community. A community service link has been created on the SAO website for anyone who wants to engage in virtual community service projects. Some are home-based and some are in-person with safety guidelines in place. Virtual community service opportunities are open to students, faculty, and staff who may be looking for service projects. This is one way to continue to make a difference during the pandemic.
“The SAO is committed to the development and success of our students,” said Fluker. “Providing virtual services and learning opportunities is a new component to keep students connected to HFC for a rewarding experience. We are in a pandemic, but students are still in need of connections to help with their development and sense of belonging. The SAO staff looks forward to continuing to assist students as they pursue their studies at HFC.”
For questions or more information about the SAO or to be added to an email list and receive weekly updates about various activities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.