The Office of Student Life has created an online program called Leos Unite in efforts to help students cope with the pandemic through social interaction.
Leos Unite helps start conversations about where they feel they need the most support. The program provides a buddy system for students to find social and academic common grounds.
“We all genuinely need to connect,” said Jazmin Barragan, student life operations coordinator. “During these times it could be difficult, but this program that we designed is meant to rebuild the community at ULV.”
More than 107 students have joined Leos Unite and Student Life expects the numbers to grow, as they find more ways to get the word out to students about this program.
“I am overseeing this program, but we just want the numbers to keep going up and people to join more,” Barragan said. “COVID has made an impact on everyone’s life.”
“I have enjoyed getting to know my buddy since she is a senior,” Maria Reynoso, sophomore psychology major, said.
Although the program came about because of the pandemic and resulting remote learning with an emphasis on supporting new students, its creators hope it will expand.
“It can be tough being a commuter student and not having that interaction with other students besides in the classroom,” said Danielle Espera, sophomore criminology major. “I found this program to be interesting to join, and I hope I can find my buddy to help me through this tough time.”
“This program was created at a great time since we can feel so disconnected as a community, we can all feel that,” said Elisa Novo, junior chemistry major. “We see a pool of people together that would be a perfect match for friendship (based on) the questions they filled out …It is also a great way to social network.”
The program has also given an opportunity of mentorship from other students and a way to reach out to others they might not otherwise socialize with. Undergraduates have the opportunity to have graduate or CAPA students to have as a mentor to guide them.
Destinee Mondragon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.