How do you stay engaged outside of the classroom in a virtual setting? In an attempt to answer this question, Engagement and New Student Programs launched the UKnighted Communities of Interest (UCI) in October.
The 21 UCIs are designed to connect students to each other through common interests. These student-led groups have virtually discussed topics such as hiking, fiction books, animated tv shows, Netflix, Disney, music, travel, Tik Tok, and more.
Double major in Art and Art History Julie Maurer ’23 leads three UCIs—Disney, Art, and Grey's Anatomy. She also is a member of the Art History club and is secretary for the Civic Engagement Society.
“I think it's a really great way for people to get engaged and try to stay connected,” said Maurer, who noted that many student attendees span various majors. “It promotes student engagement. I think we’re creating a positive and safe space so people can engage with each other in a respectful and fun way.”
Maurer said that while some of the conversations focus on the interest of the group, often students discuss their feelings about learning online and what’s happening in the world.
“The first couple meetings, I found myself lecturing about topics,” said Maurer about when the programs started in October. “But now, students have gotten more comfortable. We’re just trying to stay connected the best we can.”