Imprint, a University of Central Florida student run magazine, serves to inform, empower, and entertain students, inspiring them to take action and leave a lasting change on both the UCF and Central Florida communities. However, with the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic and shifting social environments, our sense of community is changing. For many students who are scattered across the country, UCF may not feel like the home it once was.
As we began work on Issue 17 of Imprint, our first virtually-composed edition, we realized the uniqueness of our circumstances and felt it would be most fitting to use this opportunity to document the current state of our community and the lives of our students. From this, we decided on the theme “Together Apart.”
With the onset of social distancing practices in mid-May, #togetherapart became a trending hashtag as people sought connection in spite of separation. Early spring became a time for virtual activities, such as Zoom book clubs, happy hours, and bridal showers. Early summer led us to mastering the art of working from home and completing school work remotely. We felt the phrase “Together Apart” was the perfect representation of our students’ experiences and the idea that we, as a UCF community, have a bond that can transcend distance.
From out-of-state residencies to familial separations to cultural divisions, our students have persevered through unanticipated experiences. In this issue, we have seven articles on a variety of topics that highlight diverse student experiences in the UCF community as we embrace a season of change. As we experience an unprecedented time in both our university and our country’s history, students are seeking ways to continue connecting despite the difficulties presented to them.
Working on this publication has not only allowed us to collaborate with incredible writers but has also opened our eyes to the unique lived experiences of our fellow Knights. We hope this issue brings social awareness and highlights the fact that, although we are all facing different challenges, we remain united. We are, as Knight Nation, together apart.
Rachel Casey and Margo McCoy