In need of a vacation? Off-Campus Commuter Student Services has you covered

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Off-Campus and Commuter Services (OCCSS) is holding their annual fall semester Commuter Appreciation Week. Commuter Appreciation Week has been held during the first full week of October and April each semester for the past 10 years and acknowledges commuter students. This year, COVID-19 has caused all events to take place virtually, but OCCSS has collaborated with other departments to ensure the week continues to be beneficial to students. 

“We are dedicated to our students now as ever before and hope that they enjoy the programs and services that our office provides,” Ashley O’Connell, Assistant Director of OCCSS, said. 

The overall theme for this year is travel and exploring, and each day has its own specific theme and event planned. According to O’Connell, the theme was chosen to acknowledge how UConn students travel from all over to attend campus. The events will give students the opportunity to take a break from schoolwork and other obligations to take part in interesting and useful events.  

Flyer for the Commuter Appreciation Week, a virtual event taking place from October 5th to October 9th. Photo courtesy of Off-Campus Commuter Student Services.

To kick off the week, the first theme is “Take a Trip Monday” and provides students with the opportunity to travel and explore five selected national parks.  

Google Arts & Culture hosts a virtual tour called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks.” As many in-person activities have been canceled due to COVID-19, this activity is a great way to take in the immense beauty of some of the national parks in the United States while maintaining proper social distancing protocols. 

Participants follow park rangers on a journey through the parks and can discover new places or revisit somewhere they have already been. The five parks that were selected and are available to tour are Kenai Fjords, Hawai’i Volcanoes, Carlsbad Caverns, Bryce Canyon and Dry Tortugas. These parks are spread out across the country and offer a wide array of beautiful landscapes and interesting wildlife.  

I chose to take a deeper look into Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. Park Ranger Fiona North leads participants on a journey through the numerous mountains, glaciers and lagoons located within the park. The interactive feature allows you to get a 360-degree view of the surroundings, and the vivid imagery of the rugged terrain and crystal-clear waters make it feel as if you were there in real life. 

If you choose to take part in an event, make sure you take a screenshot of your participation so you can get your “passport” filled and receive a prize pack in the mail.  

OCCSS is dedicated to enhancing the overall college experience and supporting the success of off-campus and commuter services. The office has many programs addressing a range of aspects of off campus living.  

“We hope that students find this week engaging and are going to explore along with our team all the various programs we have put together,” O’Connell said. 

There are many great events and opportunities taking place during the remainder of Commuter Appreciation Week. Visit the OCCSS website for more information.  

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