Social media builds connections, extends support, prevents isolation, inspires fun
Early June 2020
The University's social media accounts offer the outside world a glimpse into the vibrant campus community, showcasing the day-to-day life of the Stritch family. Beginning on March 16, 2020, when the University announced the suspension of face-to-face classes, those social media windows gained even greater importance, becoming an essential tool not just for the outside world, but now for students, faculty and staff to stay connected, aware, informed and supported.
The global crisis spurred by COVID-19 brought new followers to these accounts and new purpose behind each posting. Below you will see how some members of our campus community created intentional messaging, programming and series to heighten the ways these interactive channels could create a sense of care, connection and fun even as people remained apart.
Health and Wellness
Stritch's Health and Wellness Center, always a source of assistance for students on campus for the promotion of physical and mental health, responded immediately to the new circumstances when campus closed for the majority of students. While continuing to provide counseling services and make essential connections to students reaching out for assistance, the staff, with help from student Peer Health Educators, created and shared messages to help the whole Stritch community cope. They provided timely information about COVID-19 as facts about the virus unfolded, messages of encouragement, tips for virtual learning, suggestions for self-care, and friendly posts meant to inspire smiles. Overall the posts helped students and the wider Stritch community to know that the support of the Health and Wellness team remained at their disposal.
The sample posts here include the first message shared the day online learning began and others from the month that followed.
Student life and organizations
Social distancing and safer-at-home orders may have made in-person gatherings impossible for a time, but that didn't stop Stritch's Student Life team and various campus organizations from planning virtual programming and scheduling online gatherings. While isolated all over the world, Stritch students received regular invitations and continued to stay in touch and even manage to have some fun while doing it.
For the first couple months of the campus closure, Multicultural Program Coordinator Andy Reza created an ongoing series, #StritchSocialDistances, featuring Stritch staff members in their home offices. Through fun, bright and light-hearted postings, people representing various campus departments shared details of their lives of social isolation, including pictures of pets, lists of their latest binge shows and podcasts, details of daily activities and other personal details that offered glimpses of how they were coping with the unexpected turn in their lives.