OPINION: Responding to Cultural Shift in Pandemic Era

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Bellevue College is far from limited in its supply of potential student clubs and activities. As we transition out of the pandemic-induced shutdown of in-person student engagement, the culture around social interaction at BC has changed drastically. What was once the norm to see classmates’ faces and to mark your presence in the BC atmosphere, is now abnormal. BC and its students have learned to function in a virtual community that holds a culture of a lack of personal interaction with peers and faculty.

A collective cultural awareness of the impact that the pandemic has had on social interaction helps us understand the shift in frequent student engagement. The ways in which students make their mark at BC has shifted to a primarily virtual footprint, which presents a new set of challenges to cultivating student engagement. This leads to a struggle for club leaders to understand student engagement statistics that could help guide their club’s future, and can limit the potential of relationships amongst students at BC. In an effort to re-establish the strong culture of unity and community pride at BC, the role that student engagement plays in our community will need to regain its prevalence.

When students actively engage in student-led clubs and activities, it allows us to amplify the voices of students. Most of all, it shapes the Bellevue College community to best serve its students and future generations of the Washington community. Through sharing ideas and actively engaging in the development of relationships and more productive systems, our sense of community will strengthen.

Bellevue College is not limited to only providing an education in the classroom. Student engagement expands the lessons we take from our time at BC. From the peers we meet, to the conversations we engage in, when we are actively involved in student engagement opportunities, we become contributing members for our community’s betterment and have the potential to create a legacy that continues even after you leave. When the culture around student engagement strengthens, innovative ideas and relationships are established in our community at BC and applied in our global communities.

Through consistent in-person and virtual student involvement in clubs and activities, we can regain the traditional vibrant college campus atmosphere that BC once held. The Office of Student Engagement at Bellevue College makes an active effort to hold events that provide opportunities for students, catered to the BC student body. You can find information about the events they hold on their website’s news page.