Juliana Gonzalez | Staff Writer

Students were welcomed back to Florida Tech’s campus two weeks into the spring semester, but many students are attending remotely. For some, it has become more difficult to make social connections. 

“COVID is the life sucker of everything,” Cat Nanney, the director of student activities and Greek life at Florida Tech, said. “It’s really changed the human experience and the college experience.”

Nanney said she believes that students are exhausted from constantly seeing screens and feel the same way about virtual events.

“We’re sitting in front of a camera and it’s more exhausting than being in a classroom. It comes easier when you are around people,” Nanney explained. 

Now that the COVID-19 response team at Florida Tech has given the go for in person events again, Nanney and her team have been working on getting students as involved as possible. 

Nanney explained that Student Involvement looks to the students to voice what they are comfortable doing as far as activities. 

She explained that her team takes student response seriously, whether the feedback is positive or negative. They encourage students to reach out to them for activities or event ideas.

Natalia Velásquez, outreach coordinator for the Student Counseling Center, explained that students may be choosing to stay remote since there is a lot to consider about safety.

“People are really concerned about their safety and figuring out what they feel the most safe with and what other people feel the most safe with,” Velásquez said. “While we are trying to socialize, we also have to keep in mind the community and ourselves.”

She explains that there has been a notable increase around the country in students seeking services from counseling centers.

“A lot of counseling centers have increased in the amount of students who are coming in with different things,” Velásquez said. “Whether it’s depression or anxiety, relationship difficulties or socialization difficulties.” 

Aaliyah Thomas, the Greek life coordinator at Florida Tech, explained that it is simply harder to have that “in-person” connection in the current situation. 

“Some people aren’t able to connect as well through a computer screen,” Thomas said.

Yet, Thomas explained that the Greek life at Florida Tech had successful recruitment among remote interaction. She said that Greek life members can communicate their most authentic selves over a screen.

Velásquez provides ways to socialize while maintaining distance, such as multiplayer games, Zoom yoga, and taking “walks” together over the phone, in a previous Crimson article.

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