As the end of the spring semester comes into sight, a number of weekly organizations, meetings, and celebrations continue on in virtual formats. This year’s virtual CoSA ran from Apr. 23 to Apr. 30, celebrating students’ achievements. These presentations can be found on the CoSA webpage. Some of the presentations are in video format, while others are papers that students and staff can download to read.
The weekly talks “Conversations about and across Difference,” facilitated by Dean Kelly Sorensen, have continued on through the switch to distance learning. The next meeting on Monday, May 4, will focus on the topic: “How can we celebrate during social isolation – birthdays, religious holidays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, etc.?” The meetings are held via Microsoft Teams.
Recently UCARE, a student activities organization that often holds events across campus for students, staff, and faculty to partake in, facilitated the event “Hungering For Change” on Apr. 29. The meeting was held over GoToMeeting, and participants were encouraged to bring their dinners. On the same day, the Peer Advocates held the virtual “Take Back the Night” via Zoom, featuring the Peer Advocates and support staff from a number of college campuses across the Philadelphia area.
No matter the virtual format, these groups across campus are still finding ways to connect with one another and maintain a sense of community. Similar to the “Conversations Across Difference” and UCARE meetings, S.I.S. (Sisters in Spirit), a mentoring group facilitated by Reverend Terri Ofori, continues to hold weekly meetings in a virtual format.
Reverend Ofori says, “Facilitating the S.I.S. (Sisters in Spirit) group virtually has been interesting since I am leading the group online from Africa. That has added some excitement to the challenge of working remotely. Thankfully, students, faculty, and staff have found the virtual platform to provide a space for reflection and healing during this time of crisis in our nation and the world.”
Beyond the weekly meetings, participants of S.I.S. have also been participating in a challenge, a way to stay connected to each other and the world at large. “S.I.S. is currently participating in the THINK UP Challenge created by the Think Up App. Where we create positive affirmations to speak to ourselves during in hopes to send out positive energy as the world is hurting and in crisis,” Reverend Ofori explains.
Despite the physical distance, an array of virtual formats has allowed numerous groups and celebrations across campus to continue to meet, talk, and socialize. From CoSA to S.I.S., students are able to participate in these virtual formats to connect with one another again.