Fairfield Student Leaders Make an Impact During Covid-19

Fairfield Student Leaders Make an Impact During Covid-19

Student leaders are going above and beyond to put the Jesuit mission to be “men and women for others” into practice.

Since the start of the semester, New Student Leaders (NSLs), commuter peer associates, Fairfield@Night student staff, FUSA members, and resident assistants have led the charge to transform campus events, programs, and First-Year Experience (FYE) into successful hybrid formats.

Assistant Director of Transition and Retention Jillian Leahy said the NSLs who assist first-year and transfer students have faced particular challenges since Orientation, as FYE programs are traditionally held in person. To help students who were new to campus, NSLs held virtual student group meetings, offered campus tours, conducted FYE courses in a hybrid format during the fall semester, and met with students individually and in groups to help form connections. They also hosted #StagsMeetUp events, which consisted of micro-groups of 10 students engaging in activities together such as study groups, campus walks, attending Mass, and dining at the food trucks.

“You always hear that true leaders step up during challenging times, and the New Student Leaders definitely proved that this year. I, and the rest of the Office of Student Engagement, are so impressed and proud of the work the NSLs have accomplished this summer and fall,” said Leahy. “The experience was nothing like they planned for, but not one team member ever faltered in their commitment to helping the Class of 2024 feel welcomed and at home at Fairfield.”

Fairfield@Night, at initiative through the Office of Student Engagement that offers student-generated late night programming, worked creatively during the summer and fall to provide in-person and virtual programming for the community while adhering to pandemic guidelines. Since returning to campus, Fairfield@Night staff has hosted movie screenings in Rafferty Stadium and Gonzaga Auditorium, DIY nights on Thursdays, bingo, glow-in-the-dark bowling, a quad roller-rink, mini-golf, trivia nights, and more.

Recently, the Office of Student Engagement, Residence Life and the NSLs collaborated on new events for first-year students, called Stags Under the Stars Community Nights. The series of events was a great opportunity for new students to meet people from their residence halls and enjoy music, firepits, and food trucks.

“This semester has had its ups and downs and oftentimes the team has had to plan and market an event with only a few days to spare due to ever-changing Covid-19 guidelines and mitigation strategies,” said program coordinator Danielle Parisi. “My staff has organized all of these events and handled all of the changes with smiles on their faces and understanding. While it has been challenging, it has been great to see everything we have been able to accomplish throughout this rollercoaster ride!”

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Last modified: 11-12-20 10:01 PM

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