Director of Student Life Cody Garrison. Photo by Ian Torres

Student Life is designed to integrate students and help them connect with other students around campus to create relationships and create fun memories. 

2022 is not an exception. 

Cody Garrison, student life director, and his team plan to have varied activities all semester long. 

The activities range from a black-tie affair that teaches students how to choose a dinner utensil correctly, a casino night full of the adrenaline rush, a possible famous scientist key speaker, to movie nights and blood drives this semester is sure to bring adventure.

“(These events) allows students to create those memories and make those friends that will ultimately help with their goals and their completion here at OCCC,” Garrison said. 

Garrison is throwing away the idea that college needs to be complicated. 

Student Life tries to create a pleasant environment for students who are part of these activities and seeks to connect all students who want to get out of their shells.

As far as specifics on how the events go, there is a lot of planning involved behind them. 

Several students, faculty and staff may have attended the carnival event last semester. 

While this event was a success, Garrison said it took months of planning. 

“We had that fall carnival in September of last semester, so we began prepping for that event in June,” Garrison said. 

Garrison and his team organized external vendors, coordinated the food, received approval from the board and the police and ensured the event ran smoothly. 

Bigger events like the “carnival” and the upcoming “casino night” can take around three months minimum of prepping.

Not all events take months to coordinate like the carnival, according to Garrison. 

Smaller events like “movie nights” take about a week to put together. 

Although the Covid pandemic is still a decisive factor in whether an event will take place, Garrison has faced this challenge since the start of the pandemic. 

“Sometimes I have to take a step back and reflect on what I can do to make my life easier, what can I do to make other people’s lives easier, and I look at it as a unique opportunity to try out new things,” Garrison said.  

Although the pandemic was difficult for many, Garrison adds that many students can play with others, de-stress by playing a video game in the student life office, or stop for a moment and appreciate what the campus offers. 

Garrison announced Student Life is currently trying to put together an event that plans to bring generations together. 

While many of us have seen this scientist on TV explaining complicated science concepts from generation to generation.  

“Bill Nye the Science Guy” was contacted by Garrison.

“I reached out to Bill Nye’s representative to try and see if Bill Nye can come to campus and talk to us,” Garrison said. 

Garrison has not received a concrete response from Bill Nye’s team, but he is hopeful Bill Nye’s team will reach back. 

In the worst case the event does not happen, there is still plenty of fun, supportive and inclusive activities for students at OCCC this semester.

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