Community Building in a Time of Zoom

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Sep 21 2020
By Cecilia Elena Rouse, Dean

Living in virtual silos is less than ideal. As I’ve said before, just because we are distanced doesn’t mean we should be distant from one another. In the past month, I have hosted an undergraduate student town hall, a staff virtual gathering, and am finding a date for a graduate student meeting. I have planned virtual office hours and coffee conversations for students and staff.

However, we are not limiting ourselves to Zoom. Last month, I met with small groups of first year MPAs outside of Robertson Hall, and I have asked my team to plan safe in-person gatherings for students and staff. So far, “Meet and Eats” for graduate students have been planned, as have walks for both students and staff. I hear ice cream is somewhere in the future, too. As the weather cools, this will be harder to do, but we are working with the University to find out what some of our inside options might be once temperatures drop. Till then, bundle up!  (As the old adage goes: “there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.”)