ASCWU’s COVID-19 IRL campaign hits social media

Max Hughes, Staff Reporter

ASCWU’s COVID-19 In Real Life (IRL) campaign seeks to aid students in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and find new ways to socialize in a way that is more appealing to students.

Western Washington University’s (WWU) student government organization, ASWWU, started their own COVID-19 IRL campaign back on Sept. 16, 2020. 

“I want to say it was Dr. Shawnté Elbert who was our former associate dean for health and wellness … basically she just absolutely loved the campaign,” Mickael Candelaria, the ASCWU president, said.

The campaign ran by ASWWU posted a variety of information for students with titles like “Move the F*ck in,” and “Hit the books and Study up on COVID-19.”

 “ASWWU’s COVID IRL campaign was 110% started by students for students,” Candelaria said. “So a lot of the content for it is a little bit more relatable, personable, if you look at their content it’s sometimes vulgar which is really what appeals to people in our age group.”

“[WWU has] been able to maintain such great low numbers of [COVID-19] cases, whereas we while we are maintaining great low numbers as well in comparison to other institutions we still knew that we had some work to do in reaching out to our off campus groups,” Candelaria said. 

The publicity center at CWU works with organizations on campus to publicize events. ASCWU’s Communication Director Leilani Salu works on the content posted on social media and she works with the publicity center to get approval and graphic help according to Candelaria.

ASCWU’s Communication Director Leilani Salu said, “Just to give credit where credit is due, this is a campaign started by [WWU’s] student government and they were doing it to be more direct and real with students to have that student on student messaging.”

ASCWU feels that CWU students are looking for the more authentic messaging and intend to use it to support students and throughout the quarter the campaign will post 2-3 times per month, according to Salu.

“We just recently posted about MLK and how we can support Black businesses in Washington, and how we can also support ourselves and our peers and how we can still be safe while participating in activism events,” Salu said. 

The campaign is social media based and will be posted on Facebook and Twitter, but will be on Instagram the most, according to Salu.

Future plans for the program include a post for Valentine’s Day that will give tips on ways to spend time with someone virtually or in person socially distanced according to Salu.

Candelaria said ASCWU plans to release a co-campaign called Know Your Rights which goes over students rights at CWU.

“So, the first one, we call it ‘New Year New Rights’ and it will basically talk about some of the basic ten rights every student has,” Candelaria said. 

Orientation was different last summer and the campaign will give newer students information about rights they may not have heard, according to Candelaria.