Everyone deserves a round of applause for their hard work last semester. In the continuing student survey students expressed overwhelming appreciation for their advisors, friends, and professors for supporting them through the Fall 2020 semester. Students lauded their community for allowing their human-ness by being compassionate and flexible. When asked what resources were most helpful during their Fall 2020 semester, several students responded:
“Honestly, my supervisors at work [on campus] helped me the most through the semester. They were so willing to help”
“Having professors and advisors that genuinely care about educating and are able to truly teach so that students are able to maximize their learning.”
We were curious to learn more about specific ways that staff is extending flexible, compassionate support to students as a result of learning from the Fall 2020 semester.
To continue helping students connect in ways that meet their needs Stan Sweeney and his team in the Highsmith Union are offering more in person and hybrid opportunities like Homecoming After Dark (in person) and Open Mic Nights (hybrid). They opened up informal non-reserve-able space like the Grotto, Student Life Porch, Mountain Suites, and the Intercultural Center for students to gather safely. Staff who work in the Highsmith Union regularly visit these areas to informally connect with students (shout out to Kate Johnson, Stan Sweeney, Megan Pugh, Robert Straub, Stephanie Giang, Cori Anderson, Rochelle Mapp, Maria Fairchild, Silke Crombie).
Come by Highsmith and check out the more fluid programming, like make and take stations, where students can make a stuffed animal, wall art, puzzles and other goodies on site or take home a makers kit.