ASUCC helps students fight stress and anxiety with little glimmers throughout stressful weeks

Published by Jazmin Ode on

(Left to Right) Nakaela Hunt (ASUCC Business Manager), Anthony Gordon (ASUCC Public Relations Officer), Marjan Coester (Director of Student Engagement), Dani Christenson (ASUCC Activities Officer), Victoria Marocci (ASUCC Activities Officer), Melissa Wilkins (ASUCC Vice President), Larisa Czernowski (ASUCC President). ASUCC members work during one of their normal Friday meetings.
Photo provided by Larisa Czernowski

ASUCC wants to help bring light to students through the good and bad times of college.

Larisa Czernowski, ASUCC president, says, “Our goal is little changes. It doesn’t always have to be something overarching and huge. I think it starts with little changes.”

ASUCC mission and plans for campus

A mission ASUCC has is creating more campus spaces that feel homey and accessible to help students feel more comfortable and help them to focus on their schoolwork.

ASUCC is working on projects to bring this mission to life such as “adding tables that have charging components in (the student center) so that students can be on their laptops even if they need a charge or (the comfort of) bean bag chairs,” Czernowski says. “(Students) want to be here, and they want to be doing their work here because it’s just as comfortable here as it is at home.”

Czernowski calls this ASUCC work “bright spots” or the psychological term “glimmers,” which she says work like PTSD triggers but instead of triggering trauma, the comfort triggers peace and hope.

Czernowski explains that these spaces increase a student’s retention and success.

In addition to adding ‘bright spots’ on campus, ASUCC also hosts weekly events to enhance student engagement. The more engagement a student has on campus, even non-course-related engagement, the better the student does, according to Czernowski. ASUCC events and meetings, including the times, can be found on the Campus Calendar on the UCC webpage. Students can add specific events to their personal student calendar, or use the email/text option to get updates on events.

ASUCC has helped advocate for students many times. For example, “Some students acknowledged to us that the Jacoby Auditorium isn’t being used for theater classes and we brought that up to President Pokrandt’s attention to see what we can do to help students utilize the space that they have here on campus,” Czernowski says.

Recent ASUCC events

The Breakfast Club Day was held on Fed. 15. in honor of the film’s release day, Feb. 15, 1985. To celebrate this 80s film, ASUCC made pancakes for students and had the movie playing for students to enjoy. “Each table had a designated group and a mixture of the characters like the athlete and the academic, the princess to correlate with the characters in the movies,” Czernowski says.

Anthony Gordon, Public Relations Officer (gray hoodie, right side of table) and Nakaela Hunt (right, wearing witch hat), Business Manager are serving students at the Fresh Friday event to bring awareness to domestic violence month.
Photo provided by Larisa Czernowski

Coffee Art Grind was on Feb. 16. This event demonstrated to students how to make great coffee with some of ASUCCs members’ favorite crafty art projects. When picking out a name for this event, “(ASUCC) centered (it) around finding a gender-neutral term to create more male involvement and male engagement on campus. Statistics show that less and less men are joining higher education whether its trade-related or degree related. There is a lower male engagement across the country, so ASUCC is partially trying to adjust the terms or verbiage we use for events so it’s more drawing for the male population. Like coffee grind,” Czernowski says.

“We did three different coffee drinks: lavender haze; dirty chai and the other one was like a blood orange coffee tonic, nothing like a caramel frappe latte,” Czernowski says. “And then the art, there were four tables we had set up for various activities. It was fun, there were a lot of people in there.”

On Feb. 23, the League of Women Voters – Voter Education event was held. Before this event took place, Czernowski spoke about the league. “I spoke with the president of the League of Women Voter, She and some others from the club and those in the community are going to come out to the college on Wednesday. They are just going to be here to help students become more educated on the importance of voting and voting rights,” Czernowski says. The League of Women Voters will return to campus March 1, Czernowski noted.

Future events

Some upcoming events that students can mark on their calendars are Pool Polar Plunge, Hola Hoop Contest and Happy Feet Hike.

The Pool Polar Plunge competition is on Feb. 27. The name for this event was inspired by National Polar Bear Day which is on the same day. This is “a 200-yard relay swim. The fastest completion time prize is an $80 amazon gift card, the second fastest a $75 (card) and third place a $50(card). (There can be) up to four people per team.”

The Hola Hoop Contest will be held on March 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is supposed to be an out-the-week event. There are prizes for only the three students that can hula hoop the longest.

Happy Feet Hike is on March 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is to celebrate the International Day of Happiness according to the UCC website description for this event. The hike is supposed to be a 30-minute walk around campus to get away from the stress of finals week.

Board meetings, hosted by ASUCC on Fridays, are open to all.
Photo provided by Larisa Czernowski

Other events on the campus calendar are Financial Aid Wednesday, Board Meetings every Friday and Fresh Fridays. “Every other Friday we’re putting out fruits and vegetables for students to get and learn about healthy eating on a student budget,” Czernowski says.

ASUCC election

With most of the ASUCC officers and president graduating, an election will take place spring term. Some positions that will open are vice president, media officer, business manager and activities officer. “It’ll be a whole new team, a whole new outlook, new goals, all new intent, and all new purpose. Students have an opportunity to jump in and fill those positions and develop a narrative that they want for the campus for the next year or however long they serve,” Czernowski says.

Czernowski warns about how students need to check with Marjan Coester, the Director of Student Engagement, about voting restrictions and regulations. One of these restrictions that students may not be aware of is not being able to post on social media or campaign on campus without approval.

When elections are open, there should be a notification in Canvas. Czernowski explains students will be able to apply through a link. “I believe it was a short essay of like 250 words or less of why you’d make a good candidate for the position.”

Czernowski expresses that she wants to find more ways to engage and welcome more students and incorporate students that have ideas on events that should be hosted. She says she is interested even in little, small ideas. “We want to provide students with little glimmers throughout their day. Whether they are walking into a classroom or the student service center or just around campus,” Czernowski says.

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