With classes not being the only thing to have moved online this semester, student organizations and campus resources have also moved to a virtual format, attempting to keep their ‘campus presence’ by hosting online events for students.
The Center for Gender and Sexuality and UM-Flint PRIDE are among those still hosting consistent programming. From Queer Thursdays to Women Crush Wednesdays and Healthy Relationships, there are up to three events scheduled weekly.
However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing when it comes to online events. With technical difficulties getting in the way and few students joining, it isn’t always easy to keep things rolling.
“As far as turnout goes, it isn’t as big of a turnout as it was when we were on campus … On campus we could get nearly 20 people a week and these past two weeks online we’ve gotten about 5 or 6 people,” said Madox Peterson, a CGS peer educator and PRIDE president. “The only issue is technical difficulties … Sometimes though someone will talk and we can’t hear them, or they’ll have a hard time logging in.”
Another challenge of moving events online is having to eliminate face-to-face activities for certain programs within the center.
“… There are other programs that we do that are more hands on and face-to-face, such as Consent. I know in my workshop, Bystander Intervention, we had to replace one of our face-to-face activities,” said Peterson.
Despite the minor challenges, Peterson still thinks the events are a good time and it hasn’t been all that hard moving online. Considering most of the in-person events revolved around hanging out, eating snacks and talking to one another, it is usually just as easy to do online.
“A positive aspect of moving online is that I think it’s more flexible so that the people who always wanted to attend before but couldn’t due to classes can now,” said Peterson.
As president of PRIDE, Peterson is trying to reach out to those who would regularly attend their events on campus to make sure they know the event is happening online and have all the necessary information they need to join the chat.
Regardless if you came in the past, PRIDE and CGS are always looking to see fresh faces. If you’d like to see a list of their online events, visit the UM-Flint Engage website.
For questions about PRIDE or CGS’ upcoming events, or if you’re looking to join an email list, contact Peterson.