Students chalk-it-up to a good time in campus contest
By Jasmine Harris, Student Writer
Those who visited campus recently may have noticed a colorful addition to the sidewalk in front of the main building: chalk drawings.
The chalk drawings were a part of a returning Student Life competition referred to as “Let’s Chalk About It,” where students were encouraged to draw on the sidewalk for the chance to win a prize.
The theme for the contest was “Draw Your Dreams”, Kristi Fields, the coordinator for Student Life, said.
Two chalk drawings were visible from the main entrance: a zoo with all manner of animals and a colorful array of shapes surrounding an alien.
The prize of a $100 Walmart gift card went to the top three designers, according to a Student Affairs email sent April 12.
“I like that they are getting everyone outside in a safe way, especially with COVID and everything.” Cheryl Harris, sociology, said.
She didn’t come to campus herself to see the drawings, instead seeing the entries when a friend texted her photos.
Harris said it was easy for people to get depressed given the state of the world, and seeing the colorful drawings helped to lift spirits.
Fields said the drawing competition began with the pandemic in the spring of 2020. The first chalk walk took place in the spring of 2020 on social media, where students were encouraged to draw chalk drawings at home and share them online.
“We were looking for ways to get students engaged while they were at home, so we held a chalk drawing contest and had students post their photos on social media,” she said.
“We love giving students an opportunity to express themselves through their art!” Fields said. Those in Student Life wanted to give “Let’s Chalk About It” the opportunity to continue on campus, Fields said.
COVID-19 has impacted many facets of life, and those with Student Life have gone to great effort to keep students safe, Fields said.
“We’ve worked very hard to offer virtual, curbside, and even outdoor events,” she said.
“In the fall, we were allowed to do some on campus programming as long as safety protocols were followed,” she said.
“Let’s Chalk About It” returned, this time as an in-person event, thanks to that permission to gather on campus, Fields said. Harris 2 Instead of drawing at home and posting photos online, as was done in spring 2020, students were invited to come to campus and enter the competition in person.
While the drawing competition found participants on campus, at least two students at OCCC said the new in-person “Let’s Chalk About It” format makes it difficult, if not impossible, to participate.
James Buller, a History major and a stay-at-home-parent, said he would participate in the next “Let’s Chalk About It” competition if the option to participate from home was mentioned in the emails.
“I go to as many of the Zoom meetings and lectures as I can,” Buller said, “But it is hard to be involved in any in-person events when I have toddlers.”
Harris agreed that she would like the opportunity to participate from home by using her own chalk and sending in photos.
“I am still hesitant about getting vaccinated so I try to avoid the campus as much as possible,” she said. “If I could post drawings from home, I would.”
“Let’s Chalk About It” isn’t the only Student Life event this spring. The Spring 2021 calendar can be accessed at https://www.occc.edu/studentlife/pdf/calendar.pdf.
Anyone interested in keeping up with OCCC’s Student Life events can find more information in the weekly Student Affairs emails that are sent to each student every Monday.