We are so excited to have our students moving back to campus this week. While this has been a very different start to the academic year, we are doing all we can to make this semester a productive and enjoyable experience, while prioritizing your health and safety.
One of the things we had hoped to do was host outdoor, in-person, socially distanced events each evening on Hearn Plaza and Manchester Plaza. Indeed, we had many scheduled for this week. We had to cancel those events today, much as we did not wish to do so. The decision was based on conversations with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health and based on the Governor’s Executive Order. University staff collaborated with student leaders to create an environment that was student-friendly, safe, and within social distancing and mask guidelines, but we were ultimately unable to move forward and still be in compliance with NC’s Phase 2.
For now, we want to continue to focus on how to connect you to each other. Many of you have already begun building friendships and learning more about Wake Forest by checking out events on Corq. There are still over 60 ways to get connected at Wake Forest over the next few days through Corq. Opportunities such as Deacon Olympics, Deacs Decide: Relax and Register and the Queer First Year 2020 Preview are happening tomorrow! Learn more about how to get involved with organizations such as Student Government, the Black Student Alliance, and Student Union by attending their virtual open houses. These opportunities to connect with students are available right now.
If you are looking for other opportunities to find connections, check out the Virtual Involvement Fair, live on Flipgrid. Click on the Office of Student Engagement logo to get tips on how to navigate the page. Currently, there are over 120 videos from clubs and organizations.
Those are the more formal ways to begin getting involved on campus. But let’s not forget the informal ways that students can meet each other and find connections:
- Introduce yourself to your hallmates and suitemates. At the start of every semester (even in non-COVID times), students get to know their hallmates and suitemates in whichever way feels most comfortable to them, whether that is knocking on doors and introducing themselves, leaving their room door open and talking to hallmates as they pass, or sitting in common areas or lounges, as occupancy limits allow. The more people you meet on your hall, the sooner it will feel like home.
- Ask people to join you for coffee or a meal. Many of us don’t like to eat alone, so at meal times, see who is around in your hall or suite and invite them to join you.
- Spend time outside with others. Whether that is going for a walk together, sitting on the grass on one of our quads, or at tables, there are many ways to have great conversation and make connections.
- When you are in virtual events or classes, take note of the other people in the session with you. Follow up with an email about the event and invite them to meet in person to make connections, have coffee, etc.
While it takes some effort on all our part to meet people and find your niche on campus, the more you put into it, the more benefits you will see.
Thank you for your understanding as we adapt our normal engagement opportunities with public health guidelines. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to the Office of Student Engagement.
Associate Dean for Student Engagement