March 24, 2021

Pamplin Society of Fellows Blog

Being a student (affinity/union) leader during Covid-19

  • Jenn Sosa-Ramirez

I want to begin by giving a huge shout-out and thank you to my co-leaders who have pushed through this academic year with me and provided me with a lot of support. This year, I decided to join the Gente Latina Unida Leadership team as treasurer and continue my leadership role in the Native Student Union. I was unsure of what I was getting myself into because when I applied for these positions, it was in the beginning stages of COVID-19 in the US and no one knew what was to come. After almost doing one year in these leadership positions, I can proudly say that these experiences have been one of the most rewarding experiences so far during my time at LC.

I applied for these leadership roles because I was interested in building community within the Latinx identifying students and the indigenous identifying students. Doing this virtually has been challenging because we previously had heavily relied on our physical space; for example, the GLU office located in Templeton 239. As a union member my freshman year, I remember attending union meetings in the GLU office. Being physically present in the office gave me a sense of belonging and comfort and trying to imitate that environment over Zoom is nearly impossible. However, my co-leaders and I have persisted and have tried to get creative with our Zoom events that will at least build a community where our members know one another. For example, in GLU we have hosted a study night where we have built a community playlist on Spotify and used it during our study night over Zoom. We try our best to balance between serious discussions and fun events.

As much as it has been challenging, being a student leader during COVID 19 has rewarded me and taught me a lot about myself and about my community here at LC. I have learned the power of building community and having people you can rely on during hard times. I have learned how vague the term “identity” is and how complex it can get. I am so happy that I chose to be in these leadership positions because I feel like I have gotten to know so many wonderful people. As I move on into my third year at LC, I can’t wait to see what the next leaders of GLU and NSU will accomplish! I will always be here to support them as they take on these roles.