Planning During the Pandemic: What ASUN Has Worked On
Being a transfer student during the COVID pandemic is hard. Being a transfer student during the COVID pandemic and already being an ASUN Programming Intern even harder. One student, Olivia Rice, is making it work. During the COVID pandemic, it has been difficult to plan events that make our school feel like a community, but also stay safe. Olivia and I sat down to talk about how ASUN has strived to work around the pandemic in an engaging way, and how they’ve handled student disappointment.
Q. What is your year and school and major?
I’m a sophomore, and Environmental Science.
Q. What is your position in ASUN? What does that entail?
As an intern I assist in planning events that the programmers are in charge of. Since I’m an intern it’s not like a paid position, so I’m assigned to a programmer. This past semester and year have been a bit different because we’ve had some department shifts. So, I meet with my programmer once a week, and just see what they need help with for planning their event. This second semester I’ve had more to do. I have had the opportunities to help plan events with other programmers and interns.
Q. What are some events you’ve been a part of planning?
During fall semester I helped with Football Fest. And that was an event where we gave out the football schedule trying to hype up that football was coming back. It was a little different because the football players couldn’t come to the event because they had to stay in their “bubble.” So we just passed out Nevada gear and some free food and stuff like that. I also worked on and planned Mackay and Cheese, which happened during Mackay week. And that was just, well, we gave out free mac and cheese for the event. Now I’m working on our “Paint the N”, which was supposed to be scheduled for the fall, but we couldn’t do it because of all the smoke. I think that there’s another event that my programmers are working on for this spring that I’m helping her out with. So, yeah, there are more things coming.
Q. Has ASUN faced any criticism from disappointed students about the quality/quantity of events this year?
There have been complaints about the amount of people that can be at events, because I don’t think anyone really likes that we have to have events that are, you know, socially distanced or with less people in attendance. There’s just nothing we can do. So I think there’s probably been some disappointment. There’s also probably been some questioning of whether the money that we use to put on events is student funds. It’s students’ money so I’m sure there have been people that are like, “why are you still spending money on events if they’re going to be super small, kind of, you know, not super fun events?” But I guess it’s like, okay well, we still have events if you want to feel engaged on campus. And I’m sorry that they’re not very fun because, you know, COVID, but I think that we’re trying our best to make them inclusive and we’re also doing a lot of virtual events and giveaways. We’ve got events that the students not necessarily on campus can still participate in, and feel like they’re part of a community. I mean, the money that the online students are paying at home still goes towards ASUN, so we’re just trying to make everyone feel as included as we can, even if they’re not everyone’s favorite.
Q. As a transfer student, do you feel like you have been given the full UNR experience?
I don’t think so. I don’t know. I definitely think that being in ASUN has given me an opportunity to meet people from UNR and really dive in and be like, yes, I am part of the Wolfpack. There have been a few traditional things that I’ve seen in people’s posts, or throughout the years even just heard my classmates talk about that I’m like, “oh, yeah, I haven’t done that.” So I don’t know. I think it’s been fine, I really have enjoyed my past year, but hopefully in the coming years I’ll be able to actually take part in UNR and feel finally like I’m part of it, part of the pack.
Q. Are you hopeful for student life with vaccine rollout?
I think that Brian Sandoval said something about wanting to vaccinate everyone by the fall. I think a lot of people are finally being like, “okay, let’s get our vaccines, and we want things to happen.” So yeah, I’m hopeful.