The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership goes virtual

The Office of Student Engagement is now completely virtual. (Jonah Dietz)

West Texas A&M University’s Office of Student Engagement and Leadership (OSEL) has moved online due to the ongoing issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The office, which declares itself the center of a student’s WTAMU college experience, is a provider of campus activity, special events and programs, leadership development and student success resources. In order to maintain a quality connection with WT students despite climbing COVID-19 case numbers, these resources can now be found on the WTAMU website.

The website offers a multitude of methods with which one can connect virtually with one’s friends, fellow students and even professors. Links to apps and games created for the express purpose of long-distance relations are linked and self-care websites designed to help those in need because of the isolation the pandemic has forced upon us are provided.

Piggy-backing on the idea of wellness during a confined and solitary experience many of us have undergone and many of us still have before us, the OSEL has created a section dedicated to aiding those who wish, while quarantining or with extra time in between Zoom meetings, to better their physical bodies. Work-out plans, like the Orange Theory at home fitness plan, the work out with Chloe Ting or the specifically engineered 14-day quarantine work out plan seek to help a student’s physical wellness, while Yale’s popular “Happiness” course and TAO strive to offer mental wellness opportunities.

In another section, the office has strung out a long list of entertainment websites, such as the Eternal Jukebox, which will take your favorite song and create an infinite version of it, the Maison Pierre Hermé, which puts you in the virtual shoes of a story’s narrator and Netflix Roulette. Arguably most importantly, the OSEL has linked to a Bob Ross Marathon, giving everyone who has yet to join the internet’s collective obsession the chance to “have happy, little accidents” with the afro-sporting master of wet-on-wet oil painting.

Play the virtual trombone or color free coloring sheets in the “Get Creative” section the OSEL has put together to flex creative muscles and awaken lapsing imaginations. Included in the proposals is a cooking lesson with Joanna Gains and an online photography course.  

In a less expected, but no less welcome, section the OSEL has linked to multiple different zoos and aquariums around the nation for those starved of public visits and to continue to advocate on behalf of the animals still needing protection and attention during this unusual time. As the National Aquarium explains, it exists to “inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.” But as it rightly states, the mission “begins within the walls of [their] buildings” and with our modern conveniences these inspiring walls can be toured from within your very own walls. Additionally, the website has provided links to various museums, such as the Louvre and the Mütter in Philadelphia, and a few wonders of the world, like the Great Wall of China.

Naturally, the website also includes all the necessary information one might need regarding Student Organizations, Leadership Programs and the pillars of good leadership. The OSEL’s philosophy is rooted in supporting young leaders in every way they can and helping them achieve success. “We are committed to supporting the University mission of developing future leaders for our community, state, nation and world by providing leadership programming for all students,” the website explains. “Our leadership programs provide guiding pillars that allow all students the opportunity to grow and develop as leaders.

And as Bob Ross said once: “There’s nothing in the world that breeds success like success.”