Student Government Shifts Gears During Pandemic

April 20, 2020 |

Changes at East Central College has not only altered how students are learning, but it also has impacted organizations, like the Student Government Association.

That’s according to Gwendolen Minks, an ECC education major and the president of SGA.

“This has affected SGA in several ways,” she explained. “Mainly, it’s hard to have a strong connection with students, but we are also learning new ways to stay connected as well.

“We are sad that we didn’t get to host several in-person events, from Falcon Fest to Consent Week, but we found ways to provide those special moments in a digital format.”

Minks said the SGA members have learned how important a presence on social media is now that there are no in-person events.

“We have gained a higher understanding on why it’s important to have a proactive online presence,” she commented. “If it wasn’t for Instagram and Facebook, I don’t know how we would be able to post updates and interact with students.”

Minks said a silver lining in the changes at ECC, and in the community, is the groups that have sprung into action to assist others.

“The nursing program has been assisting during these times whenever necessary,” she said.

Minks added that the Phi Theta Kappa is hosting a Falcon fundraiser on Facebook.

“Some clubs are planning ahead for how to help each other out after this is over. Even though these are crazy times in our lives, the compassion of others have really taken shape,” Minks commented.

Remote Instruction

Minks is enrolled in four classes at ECC this spring. Two of them already were online before the pandemic prompted the change to an online or remote delivery.

“I was not worried about taking online classes because it is easy for me to stay on task, but I feel bad for students who may struggle with the unexpected transitions,” she said.

For Minks, there was a learning curve for the delivery of courses that were designed to be in the classroom, but she got the help she needed from ECC instructors.

“For me, the biggest challenge I have had for my courses this semester is learning how to use Zoom. Luckily, my teachers have been patient and it’s been a group learning experience,” she added.

Zoom, the remote meeting application, provides a platform for presentations to classmates and instructors, Minks said.

“I think Zoom is a good tool to utilize and once you get to understand how it works, it’s user-friendly.”

Services

Minks said she has not yet utilized student services at ECC that are now offered online or remotely, but she plans to soon.

“I will be utilizing The Learning Center for an upcoming paper,” she said. “Along with that, I keep hearing the different ways that The Learning Center and the library have been working with students on providing resources through the internet and online access to books.

“As much as I’m sad that we are stuck in quarantine and we have had to make quick education adjustments, it’s kind of cool to see how we are learning so much about how to provide resources, or continue education without the in-person experience,” Minks said.

As SGA president, Minks encourages students to utilize the services offered at The Learning Center, various areas of student services and the library.

To learn more about what ECC is doing to help students, visit the ECC COVID-19 resource page at www.eastcentral.edu/covid/. Students also can contact studentservices@eastcentral.edu or 636-584-6588 for assistance or more information.