SERS Stories: ENV Student Weekly Challenge

A self-conducted interview by Ben Muller

Ben MullerMeet Ben Muller, a 4th year student on co-op with SERS for the second time. This story describes the benefit of doing something twice, and how he used his experience as a student to direct his work efforts this term. 

In his position as an Experiential Online Learning Coordinator (EOLC), his job responsibilities include student engagement, assisting with courses, virtual event planning, and coordinating efforts between students, groups/clubs, co-op’s, and faculty. 

“Doing school online was a real struggle last term. The lack of connection, limited opportunities and virtual burnout were significant factors. I had to drop 2 courses”

That’s why he created the ENV Weekly Student Challenge, a 12-week challenge program that you do with a roommate or virtual friend/peer. Each week students can complete a fun challenge or an academic challenge and submit them to @uw_ess for a chance to win a sustainable prize. Participants can join anytime during the term, and there’s no penalty for missing a week. Students may complete either the fun OR academic challenge. It’s there for whatever they need it for. 

He is also the current mental health and wellness director for the Environment Students’ Society (ESS), which allowed him to facilitate the challenge from their instagram page and connect with other student groups. 

“The goal was to create more connections at the household level, and also as a way to avoid creating another virtual thing for students to attend. It adds structure and also a creative outlet to overcome boredom”. Currently, the challenge is in week 4. You can find the link in bio of @uw_ess to join and get the challenge instructions. 

Many of us are experiencing the same problems during this time of virtual work, and many of us have come up with solutions. It is important that we continue to talk to each other so we can align our efforts to get the best result.

Other projects he is working on include facilitating a student-prof connection event, sitting on a co-op in ENV review committee, and promoting campus resources.