Just because the Student Union is closed doesn’t mean Oklahoma State students can’t participate in Student Union Activities Board events.
To make sure students can still participate in activities and feel connected to other members of the OSU community, SUAB has started hosting its programs online. From weekly trivia to cooking videos, SUAB is still working to bring its events to students no matter where they are.
Julian Thomason, SUAB president, said SUAB is utilizing all the tools it has at its disposal to allow students to participate in its activities remotely, including its social media accounts and online tools like Kahoot.
“The way that we’re exploring this process is we’re going week by week,” Thomason said. “We have a list of brainstormed ideas, and each of our executive board members have been absolutely wonderful in stepping up to the plate and taking on (an activity). From there, we’re picking what we’re going to do for the following week.”
SUAB’s first online event was a "Spongebob" themed trivia, held over Facebook live, Zoom and Kahoot. Although there were some kinks to work out at first, such as how to deal with lag, many people said they enjoyed the trivia.
“You guys are amazing!” Mariah Mayfield commented on SUAB’s Facebook live stream during trivia.
Since then, SUAB has hosted a "The Office" themed trivia and a “Quarantine Cuisine” cooking lesson. It’s hosting a Netflix tournament on its social media accounts. Thomason said SUAB plans to host at least one online program per week, including trivia once a week.
The shift from in person to online events has saved SUAB money, and the organization is passing that money onto students via the prizes for its events.
“There’s virtually almost no cost to us to host trivia events, so our prizes cost way more than they normally would,” Thomason said. “We’re giving away more quality things. We’re able to do a little bit more in terms of what we give students and what we provide for students just because of not having to pay the cost of (catering and conference services). We don’t have to worry about a lot of the logistical things now.”
Among the prizes that have been offered are Nintendo Switches and Apple AirPods. SUAB mails the prizes to students.
One of the things SUAB has focused on is cultivating an online community to get as many people involved from home in events as possible. Thomason said this online community is something SUAB intends to keep even after things go back to normal.
“We’re really enjoying curating an online community,” Thomason said. “I think that’s something that we want to focus on more. It’s not just a means of passing communication from us to them; it’s more of, we really want to try and see if we can create a little community on the different platforms. This situation has given us the opportunity to do that.”
Some programs SUAB hopes to bring online over the next few weeks include a pen pal initiative and an online drag show to replace its annual Dragonfly event. Information about upcoming events can be found on SUAB’s Facebook and Instagram pages.