COVID-19 Journal: Coping with Mental Health Challenges

One student kept a weekly journal of her experiences with quarantine while also dealing with mental health and other health issues. Additionally, she sent out a survey about mental health in the time of COVID to hundreds of people and has collated the responses here. The result is a snapshot of the early days of the pandemic and how people are coping with mental health crises activated or made worse by the requirements of quarantine.

Please download and read the report.

Making Masks

The year 2020 did not really go towards anyone’s plan. Once the pandemic hit a lot of people’s lives were changed. On March 30th, Maryland was placed under a stay at home order and residents were only allowed to leave for essential activities. Shortly after on April 18th, all Maryland residents are required to use face coverings in public transition or any indoor retail and foodservice establishments. Masks during this time are very scarce due to the overwhelming demand from medical services and cloth masks were being sold at ridiculously high prices or would not reach the recipient until May. Masks were not being provided from the state of Maryland however there are still people who need to use public transportation for essential trips. There are also people who still work for essential businesses. To help, I decided to make masks for people who need them.

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Diversity Training for UMBC Police

The goal of my project was to create a plan of action to better equip and organize the UMBC Campus Police. During my time at UMBC, I’ve slowly learned about how many of the university student body feel about the campus police. Students don’t put much trust into the campus police unless it’s related to parking tickets (they’ll always catch you). Students should feel safe on campus and it doesn’t seem like there’s a consensus that the UMBC police are providing the safety people are asking for. There are many ties to discomfort of police including those of marginalized groups who have a history of being victimized by police.

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Diversity in Public High Schools

Diversity in our schools is so important. To have kids grow up with different views on different kinds of people enriches their environments. In my county, many of the kids attending grade school are not able to access this diversity, and as a result of that stereotypes and prejudices are born. I wanted to make a program that allowed students within their own county to visit neighboring schools, in order to get a feel of what life and education is like in a heavily segregated area, but only 10 minutes away. 

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Sleep Hygiene at UMBC

My final Activist Project focused on collecting data and educating UMBC student about sleep hygiene practices, sleeping areas available to students on campus, and potential inclusive decision making on community-built committees for students to execute actions for student’s wellness such as sleep. Educating students on the importance of sleep, especially students in a society where exhaustion is rewarded as a form of productivity, is important in assisting in the short-and long-term lifestyle changes that young adults are going through while in college, or in general in early adulthood.

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A GoFundMe for the Maryland Food Bank

Since we turned in our proposal, our project has completely changed. Originally we planned on making a ‘zine about beauty standards, and giving it out to high school students. The ‘zine would have consisted of pictures, as well as interviews of people on UMBC’s campus who have been negatively affected by pop culture’s beauty standards. The purpose of this would be to show young people that it is normal and ok to feel insecure, that their body does not have to define them, and that they are not alone.

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