Miners on Monitors: How UTEP is promoting student engagement in the midst of a pandemic


Illustration by Salette Ontiveros

Stuck inside? There are still plenty of activities you can do while you self-quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.

Maria Salette Ontiveros, Contributor

As folks remain under quarantine, UTEP’s Student Engagement & Leadership Center (SELC) invites all Miners to remain connected this semester through engaging virtual activities — a series of activities SELC calls “Miners on Monitors.” 

Despite students not being on campus, the programmers at SELC are still making it their mission to champion student engagement.  

  “We needed to find options for students to still stay engaged in this new world that we are calling our virtual reality,” said Nicole Aguilar, SELC director. It happened super quick in a matter of two or three days to put this initiative together, and we just realized that it was something that we needed to do more than anything easy for students to find out which options were available for them.  

SELC is using Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Blackboard to host some of their virtual student engagement events.  

Each week, all students will receive an email announcing new, exciting and interactive programming like live demosresources for registered student organizations, virtual yoga, leadership development workshops, and social media contests. Each student participating will receive an e-ticket to access the events.  

“For the first week alone through the Miners on Monitors initiative, we hosted a total of 730 students participating in these programs and events,” Aguilar said. We used four different ways to promote these events; campus bulletins, SELC social media, and by email. We had promos, contests, and different ways for students to participate on social media for the contests.  

The SELC team is already planning future events for this year’s fall semester such as the Miner WelcomeMinerpalooza and other fun events to kick off a strong and healthy semester back to UTEP 

“My message is that we are with you. We are working hard day by day to find out ways to connect with you. If you have any ideas, we want to hear from you,” Aguilar said. Don’t give up, we are all are going to come out of this stronger, tougher.I can’t wait for all of us to go back to Centennial Plaza and show the world just how strong we are as Miners.  

You can visit utep.edu/MOM for more information about upcoming events. 

Maria Salette Ontiveros may be reached at [email protected]