In a previous report, The Sandspur found that loneliness amongst underclassmen has been a pertinent issue on campus.
The investigation revealed that homesickness and isolation are the driving problems—especially for those coming to the college from out of the city, state, or country.
According to data on the Class of 2026, incoming students represent “41 states” and traveled an “average of 514 miles” to get to the college. However, as an infamously pedestrian-unfriendly city, the Metro Orlando area can be hard to navigate for those now calling Winter Park their temporary home.
In order to bridge the gap between residents, organizations like the Center for Campus Involvement, the Center for Inclusion and Belonging, and the Student Government Association have been working hard to foster a greater sense of community through increased outreach.
Earlier in the year, Campus Involvement split into a solo organization with the sole purpose of improving student connection. The organization started sending out notifications through Get Involved this semester in order to advertise all upcoming programming.
Get Involved is an online communication platform that lists all of the events and club meetings that occur at the college. Students can use this website to RSVP ahead of time and sync events with their Google Calendar.
For students looking to mediate their boredom, there are a number of on-campus programming options coming down the pipeline in the next week:
On Thursday, Nov. 3, the Center for Inclusion and Belonging is screening the documentary “SACHEEN” in the Bieberbach-Reed Room. The short film honors Indigenous activist Sacheen Littlefeather, in commemoration of Native American History Month.
Over the weekend, WPRK 91.5 FM is throwing its annual Fox Fest on Bush Lawn. The festival starts at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. DJ Victoria Padron, Anthony Argos, bands Twin Suns and Palomino Blond, and producer Kaelin Ellis are all performing at the event. Vendors include Bolay, Ten10, Wills Pub, Sausage Shack, KOS Coffee and Bodega, and Dining Services. Admission is free for students and $10 for the public. Please show your R-Card at the door to enter.
Additionally, for anyone looking to join a club, the Student Organization Fair will be held the following week on Nov. 9 between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A variety of student organizations will have tables set up around Mills Lawn.
Of course, there are a lot of issues that cannot be fixed only through social involvement. If you are feeling lonely or stressed, the Center for Inclusion and Belonging hosts free drop-in counseling meetings every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. No appointment is needed.