Fall 2021: Creating Community No Longer Virtual


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Fall 2021: Creating Community No Longer Virtual

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After attending college online and having virtual classes, many students were eager to come back to the St. Mary’s University community. However, creating a community has looked different from pre-covid semesters. Before the pandemic hit, student life and university programming council hosted many events. Residence life and resident assistants also hosted events for residents in the dorm halls. When everything was virtual resident assistants tried engaging with residents and creating community online. This consisted of watching movies, playing games, or just having a space to talk to each other. Now that residence halls are open and most classes are in-person, creating community looks a bit more like pre-covid semesters. Resident assistants are required to create engagement opportunities for their residents. There are several ways to do this like traditional planned programs, spontaneous get-togethers, bring-along events, etc. Although the programs resemble pre-covid semesters more than the last three semesters, covid is still something to beware of. When planning events, resident assistants consider how many people might attend, whether the space is indoors or outdoors, will there be food, etc. Resident assistants are also required to uphold and enforce covid policies like mask-wearing. So, while also trying to create a sense of community, residence life and student staff still try to create a safe environment.

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This item was submitted on November 28, 2021 by Paul Garza using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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