Community Building

Hey, don’t you live in my dorm?”
The students and we have all settled into the semester. We were on campus 6-7 days each week for the first six weeks or so after the students’ return. We have now transitioned into our semester-long schedule of being on campus Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. When we are on campus for a stroll, one team is always at “Blue’s Corner”, which is between Wilson Library and the Undergraduate Library. Positioned between the Pit and the Lower Quad (Polk Place), hundreds of students pass us there between classes and have gotten used to stopping. We are seeing more repeat visitors already than we saw all last year, and we love it! A few of them will even plop down next to us, pull out their laptops, and work on their homework while they chat with us and other students who stop by, but lots stay for quite awhile, whether or not they are actively petting the dog. We’ve frequently seen reunions of old friends, introductions to new friends, classmates meeting outside the classroom for the first time, etc. One of our primary goals this semester is to facilitate community-building among students and it turns out that planting a team in one place has provided an unexpected boost toward that goal. Stay tuned for news on our next step toward that goal: creating a HAPPEE Discord server…
Cathy Emrick

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