In an interview with the director for the Center for Student Involvement Kristyn Russell, we discussed the future of student involvement, working with Guidebook and Diversity and Inclusion week.
Things are looking up for student involvement as cases are decreasing, students are being allowed to gather for club and organization meetings. Russell says, “now we’re getting to the point where student orgs. might actually be able to do some programming”. She hopes to be able to work with different organizations to plan on hybrid meetings.
One thing that she emphasizes is the fact that this form of hybrid learning and involvement is that it allows everyone to come up with new ideas. One example she gave is that Greek life’s invite parties will now be held on campus, but they can offer ideas to replace these invite parties in a way that would promote social distancing.
Russell showed concern about returning students and their inability to be as involved as heavily as usual. She talks about the importance of “challenging our traditions” when it comes to the on-campus programs that we are all used to.
One thing that Russell showed a lot of interest in getting out there is their partnership with Guidebook. Russell told me that this is not the first time that we have used the app, but it is the first time that the app has been used to promote over-involvement.
One thing that the app allows users to do is sign up for and sign in to events that they want to attend. Russell explains that the app will allow them to digitally keep track of who attends an event.
Russell also states that the app can help other organizations and departments get more participation. “If I can support comm arts or res. life in an event and make it more successful that just makes more sense” Russell explains.
I asked Russell how she is going to plan out Diversity and Inclusion week with the current guidelines. She explained that many of the discussions will be hybrid- meaning that they are open for in-person attendance and over video for those who would rather attend virtually.
Russell told me that she is looking to push a lot of the information on social media so that everyone can share the information. “I hope it will bring people together. Especially since Week of Welcome, this is the first big week that we have on campus” she expressed.