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A Student Life Summit Update from the COCA Board Chair
February 25, 2021

One year ago, our industry changed and we all had to adapt. Yet, here we are one year later still doing what we do best: helping students.

Our industry is at the forefront of change, and as is the rapid evolution of our membership. Running parallel to this change, COCA has changed as well.

This time last year, we were ramping up to launch the hype around an in-person conference graciously hosted by the team at Laurier University. Completely unaware we were about to learn all about Zoom, and the need to ‘pivot’ just about every aspect of our normal jobs (can we make ‘pivot’ not be a thing? Please?).

As a team, COCA came together to create the very first Virtual Student Life Summit!

While it certainly wasn’t a traditional COCA by any means, it was still rich with the biggest aspect that makes the COCA experience: support. Support from our membership, understanding of changes, and the necessity to adapt as the challenges were thrown our way.

So, here we are. One year later. Experts of this new normal (Er… as much as we can stretch the definition of experts…).

This year we’re storming forward with the 2021 Virtual Student Life Summit (SLS). We’ll be hosting from hundreds of kitchens, living room tables, or for a lucky few your actual offices. This year’s SLS will be June 7th – 11th! So, at least that part is back to normal.

The 2021 Student Life Summit will be focussing on support for the three major pillars that make up our membership. The Programmers coordinating exciting campus events, the Marketers that promote those events and services that support their students, and the Clubs Managers who organize campus communities. We will have full streams of Education Sessions specifically geared to the hottest topics in those fields.

As we all know, the events world for post-secondary campuses (regardless of the C-Word) has been ever progressing, and the events students are flocking to are very different from even three years ago. For that reason, our Showcases will be focusing on events that are true to 2021!

If the virtual world has taught us anything, it is that coming together is easier than ever before. Usually meeting between conferences, for nearly any reason, was complicated, and let’s face it… expensive.

However, our new world has created new opportunities! That’s why twice a month from now until the Summit we’ll be hosting ‘Student Life Summit Virtual Roundtables’ on topics relevant to that month.

Of course, everything COCA does wouldn’t be even remotely fathomable (even the creation of, and posting of this blog post) without the hard work from amazing and dedicated volunteers. So hats off to you folks!

If you’re still reading all the way down here, it means you love COCA almost as much as I do, if not more. If that’s the case, do us a favour and share this post on your socials, and give us a like and a follow – @yourcoca on the ‘gram, @OurCOCA on Facebook, and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

‘See’ you at the Student Life Summit!
 

Andy Hall, COCA Board Chair