CCI Commons events expanded virtually during COVID-19 semesters


Olson Hall is home to the CCI Commons.

Austin Monigold

The CCI Commons were adjusted to accommodate students during the past two semesters and typical staples of CCI like RA events, storage for projects and computer availability faced severe changes.

The commons are the living learning community in the College of Communication and Information for students who live in Olson Hall.

In the community, residents can meet other students in their college that are also living there to build friendships and communities with those in similar majors.

An opportunity that was presented to the commons from COVID-19 was to shift the setup of typical events in the commons.

“We shifted everything to remote programming,” said Marianne Warzinski, the academic program director in CCI. “Since we were remote, we didn’t have any restrictions with budget or space, so we could open it up to students who didn’t just live in Olson, to participate.”

This allowed students with CCI majors or minors to take part in the programming that was typically exclusive to the students in Olson Hall in previous semesters.

Examples of programming in the hall would be guest speakers like an alumnus from Los Angeles, or events created by Resident Assistants to form connections within the community, Warzinski said.

The commons are also home to a design studio that faced restrictions such as fewer computers, less storage space and the removal of staplers due to COVID-19, she said.

“It was important to build community with the studio because people got to know each other at two in the morning working down there,” Warzinski said. “I felt that was one of the reasons I was going to make it work and keep it available.”

Austin Monigold covers CCI. Contact him at [email protected].