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Student Life Blog

Student Life Blog

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COVID-19 Announcement from COCA
March 18, 2020

Greetings COCA Family,

The spread of the COVID 19 virus has, and will affect us both personally and throughout our organizations.  We wanted to let you know that COCA is already working across the networks with our peer organizations, and many SU/SA partners to determine the best course of action.

What does this mean for COCA?

We are planning, at this moment, that the Student Life Summit is still moving forward with planning, and that preparations are continuing to be made.  Of course, this may change as new information comes in every day and that this is an evolving situation.  We are, however, considering alternative plans including postponing and virtual presence.  The conference will happen in some form at some time.

How do I get information and support?

Above all we know this is a very stressful time for each of us, as we watch our events cancel, clubs departments close, and communications teams working to get up to date information out to their students.  

  • First, we want you all to take care of yourselves and your families as best you can.  
  • Please stay connected to us via social media and coca.org where we hope you will all share best strategies and tools with each other.  This is an unprecedented situation and a generation defining time.  Nobody has tools developed in how to handle this, and we will each be learning as we go, and of course we can all learn from each other. 
  • We know, firsthand, how personally connected you feel to the work you do and how hard it is to explain our work.  If you would benefit from speaking to someone your board reps are available to chat with and see if we can help you find the answer to any question.   Even if you are a department of just one person and feeling isolated in how to deal with this remember you have a family across the country waiting to help. 
  • You may also have access to speak with an actual professional through your benefits or employee assistance plan.

What can I do to help? 

Now is the time that the COCA community can do any or all of the following:  

  • If you would normally be registering for the Student Life Summit in June, you can continue to do so with every confidence.  Prior to this situation happening, COCA already had cancelation policies in place and if the event is cancelled you would always receive a refund.
  • Associates are the same, you can book your space in biz hall, or arrange your sponsorships with confidence. 
  • Nominate or vote for someone to receive an award.  Communications will be coming out in the next few days about different awards and distinctions COCA will be giving out.  Wouldn’t this be a great time to recognize someone for a great job!
  • If you can, everyone please take a moment and renew your membership.  This virus has impacted each of us and will impact each of us in the future.  Now, more than ever, this is the time you will need connection and support from your community across the country.  No matter the size of your school or the scope of the events you produce this is the time that you need to be in close contact with each other.  But far away and socially distanced.   

Most importantly, please follow all directions from health officials and continue to socially distance yourself wherever and whenever possible.  If you are able to work from home, do so.

COCA has always been an association made up of connected individuals.  We are here to help in whatever way we can to support you through these challenging times.

Regards,

Craig Berry - Board of Directors Chairperson
Kelsey Richard - Student Life Summit Chairperson
Josh Clark - Executive Director