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CEAMH-UADY translates to “new normal”


CEAMH-UADY translates to “new normal”

Student Corner | June 2021

By Guillermo Felipe San Martin Alexandres, Génesis Maricarmen Santos Castillo, and Yajaira Patricia Poot Salazar | ASCE Student Chapter at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the Student Chapters all around the world had to restructure their own plans and activities. Mexico was no exception, and as a Student Chapter, we found a way to continue working on ours.

Ha’ – CEAMH-UADY logo

Restructuring because of the situation

One of the most difficult problems to work through during this situation was fighting against the demotivation most of the members felt because of the uncertainty and missing activities, at the same time, most of the original members finished their degree and moved on, putting the chapter in a difficult position.

The remaining members decided that the best thing to do was offer new and fresh ideas to the Chapter, deciding to relegate the presidency to younger members with more time at the university and more impetus and ideas to give the chapter a new face.

After deciding who was going to assume the Chapter’s leadership roles, they began to work in  new ways to reactivate and motivate the Chapter´s members, while attracting new students to restore its work and activities, making changes that step-by-step start to make the difference.   

Adaptation to the virtual modality

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new normality made the Student Chapters change their usual modality to a virtual one. For CEAMH-UADY, the members had to seek new digital tools to restore the activities, meetings, and continue working for the development of the chapter. Nowadays, virtual platforms to sustain meetings and work together with a group or team are many and are everywhere. Every company has created their own and offered it to everybody, platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and many more were put into discussion in deciding which one was the best for the Chapter´s and member´s needs.

Ordinary meeting #2 CEAMH-UADY; One of the first meetings after the restoration of the chapter

The answer was found in the platform “Microsoft Teams,” which access was given by the university to all the students, making it the easiest platform to access for every member. This one turned into the perfect tool because of its multiple functions that allowed members to work from their homes, respecting the health measures that their city impose, making available to them the possibility of organizing meetings, online activities, and working on different documents at the same time, overcoming the challenges that this new virtual modality presented.

First activity during the new normality

The Water and I: Photography and Drawing Competition Poster; Poster of our first activity with “Comisión Nacional del Agua”

After the process of reactivating the Chapter, the members decided to participate in an activity proposed by “Comisión Nacional del Agua” (National Water Commission) for World Water Day. The activity was an invitation to create a dynamic event for this day that everyone could participate in. “El agua y yo: concurso de fotografía y dibujo” (The Water and I: Photography and Drawing Competition), was the activity created by the Chapter members to mobilize the community, showing the importance of water on our daily life. This dynamic event was a little contest that invited the community to share photos and drawings of the water, including a story of them with it, which was a complete success.

Those kinds of activities are necessary while trying to grow the chapter, since it increases the scope of the message that we want to give and make visible; not only the Chapter, but also provides a sense of our activities that the Chapter regularly conducts and the goal of our organization. It also helps the future integration of colleagues interested in hydric issues that are willing to help in brainstorming or organizing different activities to complete the Chapter´s mission and increase awareness of this valuable resource.

Guillermo Felipe San Martin Alexandres
Projected graduation: 2024
President, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán

Génesis Maricarmen Santos Castillo
Projected graduation: 2024
Vice-President, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán

Yajaira Patricia Poot Salazar
Projected graduation: 2024
Secretary, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán