By Eduardo Hurtado
The Intramural and Recreational Sports’ Discord server has helped students through the added stress of the pandemic, said the department’s coordinator.
“It has certainly helped me handle isolation by being able to reach out and speak to students,” said Geoffrey Nelson, coordinator for Seminole State’s Intramural and Recreational Sports department.
“I’m an extrovert and was very depressed during quarantine and the Discord helped me get through it,” Nelson told The Scribe.
The Discord server provides
a spot for students to discuss their school lives, hang out with friends and to play video games.
Recently, Nelson’s department held a Discord event for the game “Among Us.” Anyone who owned the game in the server could join.
Initially, the Discord server was a hangout spot for the department’s game room staff as a means to set up gaming events. Since then, however, the staff restructured and rebranded the server so that both sports and video games can co-exist, Nelson said.
Nelson explained that when COVID-19 lockdowns started, his department had to switch to a virtual space because conducting in-person events was impossible.
Many students at SSC had been isolated in their homes for almost a whole year.
Mental health has also been a relevant subject ever since lockdown began. News stories of
COVID death tolls, politics and protests have contributed to depression, news reports have said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added a section to its COVID-19 web- site about the topic of stress and coping.
The intramural sports department started in 2012 as a smaller section of the Athletics department. Starting in 2013, however, a full-time coordinator for intramurals was hired, which prompted the department to separate from Athletics. Sports such as basketball, flag football and outdoor activities such as canoeing and rock climbing are among the sports offered with intramurals.
Then in 2016, electronic sports were added to the department. Video game tournaments were held. According to Nelson, video games were added “because it
is a great way to keep students engaged in the events they are already participating in.” Nelson also explained that he has given presentations on both a state and national scale on the topic of grassroots eSports events.
In 2018, the Intramural and Recreational Sports department opened its Discord server. Discord is a voice-over Internet protocol and instant messaging service that launched in May 2015. It allows any user to create a server either for a group of friends or an entire community.
Communities such as intramurals at SSC use a server to organize their topics through the use of “text channels.”
Each has a text channel dedicated to rules within the server, so people who speak within specific text channels behave themselves and to ensure users stay on topic whenever they post.
The department has a text channel dedicated to posting announcements such as video game events.
Discord has really helped in the organization of Intramural and Recreational Sports department, Nelson said. The department’s Discord server has more than 100 members with numbers growing over the ongoing pandemic. Despite not having the space to do in-person events, the digital events have helped with maintaining interest in the group, Nelson said.
Any student can use his or her student ID number to join the intramural sports Discord server. Nelson said in-person events and re-opening the Game Room is on top of the priority list for when the pandemic subsides.
He also said that the Intramural and Recreational Sports department will be managing the new Raider Center, so there will be a new space to exercise in. The virtual offerings will never go away as long as students are still interested in these events.