In a time defined by us trying to keep a safe distance from one another, Transylvania University staff members want to make sure students don’t feel so isolated.
Director of Student Well-being Ashley Hill has a message for them: “We’re still here. We want to do anything that we can to support you.” And, “We miss you.”
Her office and others are still offering services to the school’s students who are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic at home, in addition to the few who have remained on campus because they need accommodations as the university transitions to remote learning for the remainder of the academic year.
This includes a range of support, from videoconferencing with family nurse practitioner Carol Palmer to getting a check-in from their resident adviser.
Members of the residence life staff also sent out a survey asking students how they’re doing and what might they like from the university — for instance, some kind of virtual programming. Plus they’re receiving info and links about resources they might need.
Support from staff could include a Google Meet appointment with Palmer, where students who aren’t feeling well can describe their symptoms and get prescriptions refilled.
Also, campus counselors have reached out to students who they’ve been working with to see what needs might exist, and Transylvania is exploring video counseling over the internet where possible.
Other efforts include health educator Chase Waskey posting Instagram advice on coping with all that’s going on — think “Fun things to do while social distancing” — and she’s working with other offices to promote student wellness — think yoga videos.
Additionally, residence life sends an electronic newsletter to students each Tuesday, and they receive daily campus updates from the communications office.
One-on-one interactions are encouraged too.
“If someone just feels lonely and just wants someone to check in on them, let us know and we can do that — just like we would normally do; it’ll just be through a different medium,” Hill said.