Clemson University recently announced a plan to enter into a phased reopening on June 1. But even with the announcement, main campus won’t see its typical level of summer activity for quite some time.

Clemson students will be able to connect with a number of virtual engagement opportunities this summer through the Division of Student Affairs.

Clemson students will be able to connect with a number of virtual engagement opportunities this summer through the Division of Student Affairs.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, university departments have been busy adjusting how they deliver services and the types of programs they offer in an increasingly virtual world.

Those housed in the Division of Student Affairs are no exception.

Below are just a few examples of how the division is offering students, faculty and staff opportunities to engage academically, mentally and socially over the summer.

Wellness Wednesdays 

Kristi Bussell of Healthy Campus first presented the idea of a virtual “Wellness Wednesday” through the Tigers Together initiative on April 15. Her overarching goal was to reach students for a few minutes each Wednesday on a topic relevant to learning and working remotely.

What she’s found, though, is an audience predominantly made up of faculty and staff.

“We use Zoom video technology and can go back and look at who comes to each meeting,” she said. “It helps us track attendance and expand our reach. I’ve asked regular attendees to our sessions to tell two or three of their colleagues about it.”

Jenny Rodgers of Campus Recreation has spoken about the importance of home fitness and wellness. Brennan Beck spoke about resiliency by sharing his U.S. Army experiences and the challenges he faced returning to civilian life. Most recently, Amanda Phillips of the National Alliance of Mental Illness spoke in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month.

She’s lined up McKenzie McNamara — her Healthy Campus colleague who serves as the associate director for alcohol and other drugs — to lead a session on what it means to develop empathy. Bussell typically decides on the speaker a week or two in advance and shares the schedule over Tigers Together social media on Facebook and Twitter. Email kbussel@clemson.edu for more information. All past sessions are archived online as well.

Dialogue on embracing community 

The Gantt Multicultural Center and Center for Student Leadership and Engagement (CSLE) have joined forces to facilitate a series on “embracing community,” primarily for students, although faculty and staff have participated as well.

Students can connect with a number of resources over the summer, despite modified campus operations.

Students can connect with a number of resources over the summer, despite modified campus operations.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

So far, the groups have led three sessions over Zoom, including topics such as COVID-19 impact on social issues and global perspectives.

“The end goal is to keep students attuned to issues in their local and global community despite a tendency to become self-focused during a crisis,” said Kate Radford, who serves as CSLE’s associate director for leadership education and development. “We also want to keep students thinking about ways to take action and be committed to their community even in a period of isolation or separation from the broader community.”

Radford said the sessions follow a general format of presenting a general introduction of the specific topic, sharing of relevant news sources and time for open dialogue with participants.

Two sessions have been scheduled for the month of June:

Virtual fitness and wellness opportunities 

One of the most active groups during the current state of modified operations has been Campus Recreation’s fitness and wellness team. With Swann Fitness Center at Fike and Douthit Hills Fitness Center not currently in use, the team worked quickly to adjust its workouts by bringing them into the homes of their social media followers.

Each Monday, Campus Rec posts an at-home workout to its channels. The team will also utilize Instagram Live each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday throughout the summer by offering classes such as HIIT, yoga, kickboxing and more.

Can’t tune in live? No problem. Each class is archived on IGTV and YouTube.

Intramural Sports will also continue to hold its weekly trick shot challenge through August 15. Winners have been chosen for creative and challenging approaches and awarded Campus Rec t-shirts. Contact the team via social media or by email at cuim@clemson.edu to submit a short video entry.

Be sure to follow Campus Rec on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest information.

Take advantage of Career Center resources    

The Center for Career and Professional Development’s virtual programming schedule is jam-packed this summer. A wide range of opportunities are available to students and recent graduates, including but not limited to the following:

-Career planning and résumé updating
-Tailoring cover letters
-Quick tips with employers
-Major exploration
-Entering the job market in a recession
-Dining etiquette

Visit the Career Center’s events and activities site to RSVP for the various sessions, held primarily over Zoom.