By Jim DeLa
New College’s student activities office is already gearing up for the fall 2019 semester.
“We’ve got over 40 events planned this fall,” said Dani McCalla, the office’s interim director.
The office, officially called Student Activities and Campus Engagement, or SA[u]CE, is a big part of every student’s life during their time at New College, coordinating every club and organization, organizing community engagement and volunteering opportunities; planning all campus events, supervising the New College Food Pantry, and running Diversity and Inclusion programs.
One of the first events this fall, Novopalooza, will take place Aug. 23 during New Student Orientation, where incoming students will be able to discover what clubs and organizations the school has to offer.
Other events in early September include a Back-to-School Bash on Sept. 6 and a Volunteer Fair.
“We’ll be planning a series of Latin heritage events to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month,” from mid-September to mid-October, McCalla said.
The office will also coordinate a service day, where students will be able to volunteer at one of several local nonprofit agencies, including New College’s Food Pantry. “We’ll be doing an art project for one local organization,” said McCalla. “We’re trying to build a stronger bond between students and the community.”
Being a part of the community is an important part of the New College experience, McCalla said. “Getting involved is just as important as getting good grades — The two are meant to work together.”
With all of the activities planned this fall, Sa[u]ce staffers say it’s tempting, especially for first-year students, to try to do too much. While it’s great to attend other groups’ activities, don’t join more that two student groups, McCalla counseled. “Between classes, clubs and your other activities, you don’t want to commit to more than that.”
“If they see something going on, whether it’s on Z Green or in Ham Center, it’s really OK to go over and ask what’s going on,” she said. “Don’t be shy.”
Student should also carve out time to relax, she said. “We know it’s a busy time. Make sure you make time to see a sunset. Take a minute for you. We support that.”
Vista Volunteer Coordinator Jada McNeill also offered some practical advice. “Don’t forget to bring closed-toed shoes — Sandals can’t do it all!” she said, noting most local volunteer agencies that partner with New College require closed-toed shoes. McCalla added that dozens of students in the past have come of campus without them. “You can’t do a lab class without them.”
The SA[u]CE office says it’s easy to stay connected throughout the school year. By Aug. 1, the office’s online hub, NovoConnect (NovoConnect.ncf.edu), will be up to date with fall events. Students should also download the Corq app, to stay up-to-date about events on campus and the local community.
Students can also stay connected by stopping by the SA[u]CE office in HCL 4, or following @ncfstudentactivites on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
— Jim DeLa is digital communications coordinator at New College of Florida.