In its continued efforts to build community virtually, Transylvania University’s Student Life office has created a Discord server to connect students with faculty, staff and each other.
Discord is an app that allows users to text, call and video chat with each other on private servers. The idea to implement it at Transy came in December when Tevin Monroe, assistant director of campus and community engagement, attended a virtual conference that discussed using the service for student engagement. The Student Life staff thought this could be another tool to bridge the gap for any students who were feeling disconnected from faculty and the Transy community.
“We wanted to open the door for students to get to know their faculty more informally,” said Monore. “When thinking of ways that we can get people together and build a community, Discord seemed like the perfect venue.”
Students can use multiple channels to communicate with their peers in Discord, such as video games, memes, Dungeons and Dragons, pet photos, dad jokes and more. There is also a channel called Coffee and Conversations, which is an informal drop-in program where faculty and staff discuss topics of interest. With topics as diverse as climate change, March Madness, cooking and makeup tutorials, students can drop in and learn more about their professors.
Other than social channels, there are channels that the student life staff use to communicate with students. Staff members have their own office channels that students can use to ask them questions. There are channels that discuss campus events, housing and residence life and student well-being.
The Discord is moderated by Student Life staff and is open only to current students, faculty and staff, who can join the server by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lillien Hudson ’22 is a psychology major and work-study student in the Office of Marketing and Communications.