Two females with masks sit on the campus lawn.

Getting Connected in a Pandemic

Two females with masks sit on the campus lawn.Some of the best friends are made in college. But how does one get connected and meet new people amid a pandemic, with social distancing and mask wearing mandated and in-person events on pause?

The University of Alabama’s Division of Student Life has been planning for months to provide students with intentional programs and support services in a safe way. A majority of events and activities taking place this fall are virtual so that students can feel safely engaged.

“We value the importance of campus life,” said Dr. Myron Pope, vice president for student life. “Student engagement is so important. We’ve had to rethink how we can accomplish that in these times, and there will be some changes in the things we do to ensure safety. But the priority is still the same, to make sure that students have an opportunity to be engaged.”

With over 600 student organizations to plug into, there is so much going on at UA. Here are some of the best resources to help students get connected.

  • Get on Board Day  For students who want to get actively engaged, this is one of the best places to start. At this involvement fair, happening virtually tonight, students can learn about and connect with the hundreds of organizations available at UA.
  • Organization Takeover  This follow-up to Get on Board Day takes place virtually on Sept. 2 and 3. It allows students to learn more in-depth information and interact with their favorite organizations and departments.
  • Student Involvement  Students who need additional help in getting connected with the right group can reach out to this department, which connects students with groups and activities that best fit their goals and interests. Students can take an involvement quiz to get matched with organizations, make a virtual appointment with an “involvement genius” to learn about getting plugged in, search for organizations and activities through mySource, and much more.
  • University Programs  The department’s latest program, UP on Demand, is an event series that fits students’ schedules, where all activities are designed by students. Up-to-date information on events is available on their social media @UAWhatsUP.
  • First Year Experience and Retention Initiatives  This department supports the academic and social transition of first-year students through special programming and services, including the opportunity to meet with a “navigator,” a current student who helps first-year students navigate campus life and the transition to college.
  • Health Promotion and Wellness  The health and well-being of students is a primary focus at UA. Virtual programming is available, including the department’s mental health virtual workshop series.
  • University Recreation  UREC facilities are open, with safety protocols in place. Students can engage and stay active in numerous ways, such as virtual exercise classes and bike rentals.

Things may look a little different this semester, but there are still countless ways for students to get connected, be involved and make some of their best friends, all while staying healthy and safe. For more information, visit Student Life.