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University is offering online support, social activities for community

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Krista Huey
Staff Writer 

The La Verne community may be practicing social distancing, but that does not mean socializing has been put on hold.  Students still have the opportunity to interact with each other and further their studies through La Verne’s virtual events.

On March 13, University of La Verne officials announced that the campus would close and all classes would migrate to online for the rest of the semester. This is a similar measure to those taken by colleges and universities across the nation as states issued stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-9 pandemic, which to date has killed more than 9,500 people in the U.S.

“I am amazed at how smooth the online transition was. There are so many resources and activities to do online now,” said Aaron Zamora, junior business administration major. “I am grateful for these because it has given me something to take my mind off of everything going on.”

Veronica Ashcroft, director of scheduling and events, has coordinated with various departments to create an online schedule of events throughout the week. Students can attend online fitness, academic advising sessions and writing workshops to connect with others.  

“I am excited to attend the online classes because as a commuter student I did not have much time to participate in on-campus activities,” said Martin Chang, junior business administration major.  “Now I am available to attend online events and interact with my friends.”

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is offering weekly online mindfulness and  fitness classes for students, faculty and staff to exercise at home. Yoga, meditation, energy balancing and breathing classes are currently available.  The classes range from low to medium intensity and pace, and are beginner friendly. These classes can be found at laverne.edu/chaplain.  

“We started using Zoom to get everyone together,” said Niki Elliott, co-director of the Center for Learning and Wellness. “The (shelter inside mandate) gave us an opportunity to see that we don’t have to physically be together for healing energy.  When we put our minds and hearts together it doesn’t matter how far apart we are.” 

Students can also interact with academic advisors at “Coffee Chat with the Academic Advising Team for All Academic Advisors.”

Through this virtual event, students have the ability to ask advisers any questions regarding registration, graduation and more. 

Additionally, students also have the option to attend academic workshops to further their studies. Librarian Norma Durian, research and instruction assistant professor, hosted a digital workshop on how to cite in APA style, as well as tips on how to use APA style in essays. 

Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity on campus, has used Zoom to communicate with their members.  They have continued to stay in touch through online Jackbox game nights, movie marathons and digital chapter meetings.  

“At first I thought doing things digitally would be difficult, but now I see our chapter has gained more interaction.  We are now having bonding events through Zoom and are helping each other get through this pandemic together,” said John Ceja, senior business administration major and president of Delta Sigma Pi.

As for unstructured time, students are also finding creative ways to spend time with each other on their own. Some are playing Nintendo Switch, cooking together on FaceTime or having book club meetings online.  

“My friend and I recently started cooking together digitally.  We both love cooking and have de-stressed with each other by cooking delicious meals and enjoying them on FaceTime with each other,” said Erin Miranda, freshman criminology major.  

It is important to engage in activities you enjoy to unwind during this crisis, which is stressful for everyone. For those who feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, the University’s Counseling and Psychological Service  is accepting appointments for counseling sessions Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. La Verne students, faculty and staff can call 909-448-4105 to set up an appointment.  

Krista Huey can be reached at krista.huey@laverne.edu.

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