Residential College Society virtual town hall (May 5, 2020)

Shannon Lundeen (Elon University): Well Clark, if you want to start us off, we can use our unofficial pre-start time since we are going to go with Carl’s time start of 4:02, for real Go ahead and let’s introduce the current exec team. Clark, want to go ahead? Clark Maddux (Appalachian State University): Sure My name is Clark Maddux I’m the director of Watauga Residential College at Appalachian State University I’ve been on the executive team now for just one year, so this is the first year that I’ve been on I am the logistical facilitator of this meeting If you have never used Zoom, there are various ways in which you can raise your hand, and the easiest way is in the participant tab, and you’ll see a way to raise your hand there But, we can also have a lively conversation Shannon, do you want to introduce yourself? Shannon Lundeen: Yes, as soon as I find the unmute button I’m Shannon Lundeen, the director of Academic and Residential Partnerships, Associate Professor of Philosophy here at Elon University So we get whatever comes through the mountains, through Clark, passes through us, so we’re in Central North Carolina We are really excited to hear what everybody else is doing at their relative institutions I’ve been with RCS since for–how long have we been around for now? Sarah Kelly (University of South Carolina): 2016 Shannon Lundeen: Since when? Sarah Kelly: 2016 OK, thank you So, that’s how long I’ve been with RCS. (laughing) It’s all such a blur with the pandemic I’m the co-chair of RCS, along with Jamie Penven Jamie, are you with us now? If not, Carl Jamie Penven (Radford University): Yes, I am We’ve actually grown to two screens, so, I was like does she not see me? Because it’s like me, then it’s Shannon Clark Maddux: We’re introducing ourselves, Jamie. Go ahead Jamie Penven: Jamie Penven, Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Retention at Radford University I also serve as co-chair alongside Shannon for the Res College Society Clark Maddux: And we have the host of this year’s RCS, the Residential College Symposium, Sarah Sarah Kelly (University of South Carolina): Hi everyone, I’m Sarah Kelly I serve as the Senior Assistant Principal for Preston Residential College at the University of South Carolina, and I am also the webmaster for residentialcollegesociety.org And, you know, 2020 Chair Over to you, Trish Trish Gomez (Washington University in St Louis): Hi everyone. Greetings from St. Louis I’m Trish Gomez and I’m an Assistant Director here at WashU in St. Louis and I’m one of the secretaries for RCS So I’ll take notes for this Clark Maddux: Carl, do you want to introduce yourself? Carl Krieger (Purdue University):Sure, I guess I’ll go Hi everybody, my name is Carl Kreiger I serve as Director of Residential Education for Student Life at Purdue University I am the social media person with RCS, and I’ve been with RCS since the beginning Clark Maddux: I stepped on Jenn, I apologize Carl Kreiger: Jenn, next Jennifer Post (Southern Methodist University): No worries I was just trying to keep it moving My name is Jennifer Post I’m the Director of Residence Life at Southern Methodist University And I’ve also been on the board since the very beginning Rishi, to you Rishi Sriram (Baylor University): Thanks, Jenn My name is Rishi Sriram, and I’m an Associate Professor of Higher Education at Baylor University, and we had the privilege of hosting the last Residential College Symposium in November, when everything was rosy, and we were all happy about the world, and the way things were headed But it’s really great to be with you all today Shannon Lundeen: So, we have some questions that I think will kick off a conversation here I’m gonna throw out a couple of questions and feel free to go ahead and introduce yourself and let us know You can also, of course, use the chat function if you want–if you prefer to type something in

Did you go ahead and hit record? You did, right Clark? Clark Maddux: Yes, and I can share the screen that has at least some of these questions Shannon: OK, great Yea, I think it’s got pretty much all of them So why don’t we just start with the first two So what campuses have already made decisions about 2020-2021? And for those of you that are not sure, have you been given any kind of date, as to when you’re going to know things about Fall 2020? I’m going to go ahead and add the third one in: how is that impacting your residential colleges if you have them, or your overall residential campus? Clark Maddux: And I don’t think we have to be too formal, just go ahead and pitch in to answer those if you like If it gets too chaotic, we can use the raise hand feature Leslie Spielman Leslie Spielman (University of Oklahoma): Hi, I’m Leslie Spielman with Headington College at the University of Oklahoma As of now, we are going to be open for on-campus classes in the Fall And we are going to be having residents, but we haven’t gotten details beyond that Jennifer Stephens (University of North Carolina at Greensboro): That’s the same story for us I’m Jennifer Stephens from UNC Greensboro That’s the same story for us The UNC system has made the announcement that we will be face-to-face in the Fall But the campus is in the midst of making some decisions about what that will look like We know there will be some limits on enrollments in the residence halls So how that will impact our enrollments in the residential colleges, we are yet unclear about Rishi Sriram: That’s the same for Baylor University We made the decision I’m speculating here, but I imagine it’ll have a lot to do with admissions and wanting to give some sense of commitment for students, so that students can make a commitment to us But I think there’s this real sense of put it out there, 90 days away, and kind of hope for the best I don’t really know what we’re expecting to actually see or encounter int he Fall But we have gone public that that’s our plan Carl Krieger (Purdue): I’m just curious I mean, I think I’ve heard a lot of, in this call, and in kind of the public sphere on the internet that basically people have said that we’re going to open up And I’ve yet to hear anybody have any specifics whatsoever Is there anybody that’s here that has any, that their leadership has said anything about specifics when it comes to your residential colleges and how you’re going to have residents at all? Just curious Clark Maddux: I think, I’ll pitch in on that one, Carl I think that’s one of our complications right now, you know, is as others have already said from the UNC system We’ve been told that we’re going to open in the Fall, but Roper is leaving so much up to the individual chancellors, it seems that we kind of don’t know how that’s going to play out So we’re told we’re going to be here in the Fall, but that’s about it Just beyond that, I mean, I know some schools, our colleague from Charlotte I think, just said that they’ll start on 7 September We haven’t been told what date we’ll start, or if we’ll start on time, so there’s still a lot of uncertainty for us at this point Jennifer Post: We are scenario-planning both on a broader scale at the University, but also within residence life and student housing. So we are considering options that include full occupancy, single occupancy, which could include hotels to accommodate our obligations, delayed start If we do single occupancy, we’re considering scenarios where our first year students live on campus and our returning students live in hotels Considering vice versa, although I hate that option I don’t love any of these options, but you know, it’s where we’re at And so some of the questioning that we’re, that leads down that path then, is how do we create any kind of community and engagement and sense of identity if we have our students scattered all over campus and off campus? And we can’t do any of our large-scale programming

We can’t cram 60 people into a faculty-in-residence apartment So that’s a lot of what we’re starting to think about is how do we achieve our objectives as a residential college in a time of social distancing and pandemic And I don’t have answers to that Shannon Lundeen: Well, I’ll just follow up with that to ask what kinds of things have people already planned for their smaller communities, whether a learning communities or the residential colleges or particular residence hall or apartment What kind of implications do you have for both a staffing model, in terms of student staff as well as faculty and staff? And what kind of programming changes are you anticipating having to make, assuming that the CDC, as well as perhaps, depending on what state you live in, perhaps state is going to be issuing guidelines about social distancing, but then also about not having gatherings over say, 50, or even 10 So, what kinds of plans have you all considered? I’m not going to imagine you’ve actually put them into place yet, but what kinds of plans have you considered? John Sopper (University of North Carolina at Greensboro):This is John Sopper from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and I direct one of our three residential colleges Some of the things we are talking about, at least within Grogan College, is we do have the advantage, we have some, and I suppose others probably do as well, upper division peer leaders, who are part of our student leadership We are talking about ways that they can be connected virtually to small sub-groups of populations within the residential college to provide some peer mentoring We started talking about ways that they can do, invite speakers and invite professionals from the local community for online virtual chats and engagements with small groups of students This is all very preliminary, but some of the things that we have, our student peers who can amplify the online interactions with students So that’s some of the things that we’ve thought about ways we can bring some of our mentoring and some of our programming to students online We also have talked about, we have two classrooms in our building, and so we’ve talked about ways that we can utilize them both simultaneously for a single class and divide the class into smaller groups, if we’re allowed to have students meet face-to-face, at least in groups of 10 We can still mount classes in two groups, in two separate rooms that are connected through technology We’ve talked about also staggering, for the courses that are part of the program, I’ve got faculty thinking about ways that they can meet half the class one day, half the class the other day, maybe do a virtual meeting, if it’s a Monday/Wednesday/Friday class, those kinds of things We’re just starting to think creatively about how do you space, how do students and how do we configure classes as hybrid? Half on, half off Clark Maddux: I think that one of the things, or several of the things that we’re looking at, and we have been told by our own administration to prepare contingencies for the fall, even if we’re on campus How would we deal with students who are at risk or immunocompromised? We are an academic residential college, so students take about half of their general education, much like Ashby and some of the other ones But students take about half their general education classes with us So it’s difficult to limit the classroom What we are doing is preparing an online section of our first year class for students who just may not be able to come to campus And again, I don’t really prefer that in a residential college, but I think that’s something we’re getting ready to do And then we are planning to limit our lunch service in our own great hall, where students

share lunches on Tuesday and Thursday, and then limit social gatherings is a contingency plan, any way to 50 students or less We have a large community activity that we do every year, and at this point, we’re kind of waiting, we’re thinking about if we have to conduct that in Spring of 2021 and use it as a kind of capstone event, rather than an introductory event for our students So those are some of the initial things that we’re looking at We are doing weekly meetings for our incoming class of 130 students We are doing weekly virtual meetings for them starting on May 15 Shannon Lundeen: Is there anything that any of you have found in this move, that happened for most of us that happened in March, to going, to transitioning to being online, and for most of us, working remotely Any techniques that you’ve developed or programming initiatives hat you were able to successfully transition to an online environment that you would carry over into your planning for the Fall, given that we’re unsure of what the limits are going to be on face-to-face interaction with our students? Ryan Hickox (Dartmouth College): Hi there, this is Ryan Hickox from Dartmouth College I’m the head of one of our residential houses I think, at least for us, the one thing that seems to have gone very smoothly in transition, pretty much the only thing, (no audio) Am I unmuted? Great Is our student leadership Each one of the houses has, with many residential colleges, is a student executive board They’ve been meeting weekly on Zoom They usually meet with me anyway, and we actually kept just around the same meeting time, and are coming back to meet every week Its been remarkably successful. They’ve managed to keep some level of programming going It sounds like we’re going to talk about some of those other details later I think more importantly, they’ve kept their cohesion as a group, and they’ve actually continued to see their own purpose of leading the community of students And so, obviously we’d like to have them together in person, it’s way better, but when we move into the Fall, I think Mike Wooten from Dartmouth mentioned in the chat that we’re probably only going to have about 30% or maybe a little more, 40% of our students here is a possible plan So obviously, some students are going to be remote and I’m at least encouraged a little bit that we may be able to keep a student leadership model going that would include remote interaction that may be more successful than I would have originally thought So, anyway, that’s definitely going to have to be something that our thinking goes forward But sort of keeping that kind of routine that we had been in seems to have been successful for them And, by the way, this is my first time calling in to any of these, so I just wanted to say thank you for organizing this, it’s really cool Clark Maddux: We did make a decision fairly early on to delay our student government elections Normally, we would elect our executive team for the student government in the Spring, and we simply were not getting the, students were overwhelmed and concerned with the remote learning that was suddenly foisted on them So we made a decision really soon to hold off on all of our elections for student government until the Fall Matt Kwiatkowski (Virginia Tech): Hey, Matt from Virginia Tech So, we kinda, first realized that we want to get students together to process what was going on in this new world And we found that wasn’t actually getting a lot of traction That students weren’t really participating unless there was a specific purpose So maybe it was an art workshop, or something that, like, gave them a little bit of a distraction from the current situation So I think that’s like something that we have really been paying attention to and I know a new mentality that several of our programs have been thinking going in the Fall is how can we really, I don’t want to say simplify them, but how can we kind of really give a clear message to students: this is what we’re about, these key things, and try to make it

very clear because especially they’re not going to be in person You need to be able to provide that way that it’s not overwhelming, right? And, as we all know, Zoom can be really overwhelming, and already is So, I think we’re thinking about our messaging Thinking about how much quantity of what we’re offering Carl Krieger: One of the things, Hi this is Carl from Purdue One of the things that we’ve been talking a lot about, and I think that I would say that I’m unsure whether or not it’s positive or not yet I don’t think we have enough data, but one of the things that we’ve done is that we’ve backed off on talking about learning outcomes, and focusing on learning outcomes, and really just focused on satisfaction and interaction And that’s it Because we were hearing from students that they didn’t want to learn They weren’t wanting to learn outside of what felt like this overwhelming cloud of learning that they were trying to navigate with their classes. And they didn’t need another side set of learning that was being pushed on them And so, from the programmatic side, we really kind of shifted our orientation from being learning outcomes focused to being program outcome focused When we did that, we were really looking at attendance and advertising and how we were getting people to be aware of what we were doing And whether or not they were then satisfied with what we were doing, which was a bit of a diversion from our traditional focus on what are the learning outcomes we want them to achieve at the end of a program So, we’re still up in the air about whether or not that’s working, but we are trying our best to asses it Clark Maddux: I do have to say, one of the most successful things we’ve done this Spring, and we will almost certainly continue it next year when we welcome the class of 2021, even if and assuming we are all kind of back together and back to normal on campus. But we decided to have Zoom meetings between our current sophomore class and our incoming freshman class, and that was just fabulous I think all of the first year students were there, probably 70%-80% of the sophomores were there, and it was just a terrific time for them to get to know one another and for the first year students to ask questions in a very non-threatening way The faculty who were present kind of didn’t need to do anything Just sat back and let the conversation take place Ryan Hickox: To build on, I think Carl’s point earlier about sort of expectations and outcomes, one of the things that I’ve, at Dartmouth, I think we’ve thought a lot about, our residential college system is 4 years old now and we’ve thought a lot throughout is the value of any kind of activities or programming that you do, there’s a lot of benefit to the students who attend it, but there’s also, we have a system where students are randomly assigned to each one, so everybody’s part of a residential house community And there’s value for the students who don’t take part, but know these things are going on in the community in which they are affiliated You know that there’s this sort of active thing going on in the background, and that’s something they’re part of , even if they aren’t making it to all of the programs And something I’ve been struck by this Spring is we’ve had probably, and it sounds like this is maybe pretty common, we’ve had relatively sparse attendance at most of the kind of activities that we’ve done online But I get lots of emails from students saying “thank you so much for keeping this going I really appreciate it.” These are ones that we haven’t seen all Spring And so there’s some value to it, I think, and this gets into the point about communication and the sort of what are you going for There’s some value in keeping a community rolling over, and just communicating the fact

to students that even though while they’re at home, they actually can still be part of something The one most successful thing we did was made these little stickers Our community is called Westhouse, so we made stickers that say “Westhouse at Home” on them, and the students could send us their address and we could mail them a sticker And we got hundreds of requests for these stickers, even people we haven’t seen otherwise But the idea being that they could still have an attachment to the community, even if they feel like everything else is so overwhelming, that they can necessarily fit it into their schedule So I hope we can continue some of that and keep that in mind as the Fall goes forward Shannon Lundeen: I think that actually brings us to another question that’s kind of been on several people’s minds both in terms of the learning community circles, as well as residential colleges, which is how are we using this time as an opportunity, or can we use this time as an opportunity to demonstrate the relevance and importance of these residential, integrated residential communities, whether they come in the form of living learning programs or they come in the form of residential colleges or an overall residential campus to the role of higher education and the state of our undergraduates in this country I think that one of the things that we’ve been seeing a lot of is the fear, the economic fallout of COVID-19 on higher ed and if we don’t come back to face-to-face classes in the Fall, that there’s going to be, there will be serious financial fallouts and some of us may feel like our jobs are on the line, especially those of us who work at institutions that have only built some of their models of living around a integrated residential and academic program, and will those things end up having to be cut? So I think that there’s an opportunity for us to both demonstrate the importance and significance of our work, to both our senior leaders, as well as to higher ed as a whole But I think there’s also, at the same time, a fear that some of us have of us needing to scale back to “bare bones” and something like residential education initiatives being thins that are defunded, or cut I’d like to hear what some of you all are thinking about that Melissa Gresalfi (Vanderbilt University): Hi Melissa Gresalfi, dean of the first year residential program at Vanderbilt There’s a couple of things I’ve been thinking about that First of all, I just think it’s a general sort of policy stance, we wouldn’t see such widespread dissatisfaction with online learning if kids went to college just for academics And so, I’m also a professor in teaching and learning, so I teach also and i know it’s been a huge thing to put courses online, so it’s a separate issue, but it is the case that students don’t generally come to college just for the classes And so, it’s really clear that we wouldn’t be having students asking for their tuition back, we wouldn’t have students deciding not to come to college in the fall if all classes are going to be online if they only came to college for the classes And so, even just as a narrative to offer, when you think about it that way, it’s really clear that there’s a reason students come to a program that’s not just online We’ve also been really keeping careful track of the kinds of programs we’re offering and thinking about who is showing up and why they’re showing up. As we all know, this has had a huge impact, a wildly different impact on students depending on their level of home security, and so some students are fine, they’re posting pictures of their focaccia and they’re running on their, you know, they’re great And if they are not showing up for our residential college program, fine, that’s good They don’t need us right now and I’m so glad that they have their own sources of security, but we’re seeing students who do still need that community for a wide variety of reasons. It’s a subset, and so we have smaller percentage of participation but it’s still people showing up and saying thank you and reaching out I do think tweaking the narrative a little bit in that way, in those two ways, to say both that students wouldn’t be so unhappy if they were just here for classes, and b) who is showing up to our programs? Who needs residential colleges? And really trying to make a case for that To me, anyway, is making it feel like we’re really doing a lot of important work, even if sometimes there’s only 6 people in the Zoom call Clark Maddux: We fortunately, have a, and again, we’re in a little bit of a unique situation at Watauga Residential College at Appalachian Sate, that we are our only residential

college on campus But we have an advancement and alumni office that understands what we do. And so as they were soliciting and recruiting students to talk about how the students at Appalachian are handling this disjointed time. One of the most popular responses came from one of our students in Watauga who was able to use that as a venue for talking about what we do and why it’s important Others who are using this as an opportunity to talk about within their administration about the value of what we do? Karen Inkelas (University of Virginia): Hi folks, I’m Karen Inkelas from UVA We are trying to take advantage of the fact that residential colleges are the only residence halls on grounds at UVA that has mixed class level enrollment The other ones are typically all first-year, all second-year, that kind of thing So what we’re trying to emphasize is we can build community and offer first year students, kind of like what I think Clark was saying, an opportunity to talk to returning students, who they normally would not have met if they were just a regular incoming first year student And explain how that sense of community really adds to and enhances their experience, particularly because we are assuming that however we begin in the Fall, they will not be arriving in person So not only do they not know a lot of students, period, they don’t get to see them in person except on the screen So we’re trying to take advantage of the fact that we have returning students through things like Big Buddies and virtual scavenger hunts, things like that that gets them introduced to each other, even if it happens to be remotely at first Melissa Gresalfi: So I just want to share one thing we’ve talked about doing that’s kind of related to the getting to know you within the, if we’re all online There’s a really interesting study that was done a couple of years ago by a professor who was at Harvard at the time named Hunter Gehlbach And he was looking at the relationship between connectedness and academic achievement And they did this tiny little intervention So they gave it, this was in high school, they gave a survey to all the high school students and all the teachers It was like “what do you like to do? What are your hobbies? What are your preferences?” It was very superficial And everybody filled it out, and then they gave teachers their student survey results, so they could see what kinds of things did they have in common with their students that they might not have otherwise known And that’s it That was the intervention And test scores went up, like a whole standard deviation in the school And so what they concluded was that connectedness is one of the big factors that influences learning and just engagement in general And so we’ve been talking about that as a way of thinking about building community from afar, especially as we hope that eventually students will be together in a residence, and to think about whether or how, we have lots of prohibitions against giving surveys out at Vanderbilt so this will take 12 levels of permission, but could we give students those kinds of surveys and then help form those kinds of very informal affinity groups that we know can be about topics that cut across all kinds of experiences and use that as a community-building, sort of a first pass community-building measure And we have a structure here for all first-year students, called Visions, which is a kind of extended orientation program that, that structure is already in place, and so we could sort of take advantage of that to also build some of those connections Carl Krieger: And I just want to kind of dovetail to what Melissa was also talking about, is that I think that one of the things that we could do is to make sure that we are reaching out to our colleagues that work in distance learning or faculty members that research

and know the research about pedagogical theory for distance learning And a lot of what the tenants of a residential college is is tied in directly to those types of tenants for distance learning And so you can easily make that connection for what you’re doing, but if you haven’t reached out to those people, you don’t know what those best practices are, then you’re going to be less likely to tie what you’re doing to those theories And so using the theories that we all use today about connection and how you connect face-to-face is all well and good when we’re together, but now that we’re not, it’s on us if we’re going to go to the powers that be and really talk ourselves up We can easily do that because what we are foundationally is really easily tied to some of that theory-to-practice that is out there in distance learning Jamie Penven: Connecting into that, I’ve been having conversations on my campus when we think of whether it’s how students are experiencing the classroom, how they experience residence hall or learning community, or student organizations, I think it would be behoove all of us to think about how we integrate virtual into those experiences, knowing that there’s possibility or, at least as we look at some areas of the news, that there may be different points where there are spikes in COVID and there is a need for us to pull students out of groups and to sort of self-isolate again And if that virtual experience is already embedded in the experience, it’s less of a difficult transition, I think And maybe feels a little natural for students And I think Carl’s comment, as far as looking at what are the pedagogical approaches within distance learning and how do you consider some of those pieces as you think about the planning for the next year Jill Stratton (Washington University in St Louis): Hello, I’m Jill. I’m calling from my home office here in St. Louis I’m at WashU for about three and half more weeks On June 1, I’ll be joining Vanderbilt University I think one of the things we need to think about, from a residential college standpoint, are all the resources that we offer, and how do we leverage that, to Shannon’s point And I’m part of a research team, some of my colleagues are on that team: Lara and Jenn, and one of the things that we found about students that live in residential colleges, they thrive, and in particular, first-generation college students thrive at higher levels So how are we providing those resources, how are we delivering those, even in a virtual setting I think is really critical And Melissa’s point, I mean, there are students that we need to be delivering these resources to in lots of different ways So I think that that’s a part of our mission, and regardless of, obviously if we have to deliver that in a different way, we have to be creative and innovative And that’s our challenge, but I think that’s something that we all have to be mindful of I just wanted to mention that How do we do that? I’m curious what are you all thinking about in that way? Melissa Gresalfi: I have taught a lot online classes actually, and one of the things our team has started doing, Jill, you’ll learn, I don’t know what the university is doing I do know that it takes three times longer to develop anything online than it does for a face-to-face setting, so our team starts next week in Operation Online Because we will, actually I was just told today in a faculty meeting that Vanderbilt is requiring all faculty to have online components of their classes in the Fall, regardless of what happens because we want to make sure that students who can’t come to campus–I’m not sure if we are coming to campus–but if we do, that students who cannot are still able to access all classes So, we have to do it anyway But what we’ve stared to think about is what are the ways, so Zoom is a lecture-delivery format, with a side of small group conversation, right? So which is very difficult to manage, anyway I don’t know how many of you have ever taught online classes, but the “breakout rooms” are really difficult to manage, actually And so, it’s just best for a lecture Even the “whole class” conversation model that we have going here has weird awkwardness

because we can’t read each other’s social cues, and so understanding what it’s good for is useful, and then understanding therefore what it cannot do is useful We’ve started to really think about other kinds of tools that we can use to actually support legitimate interaction virtually And some of them are silly A thing like Padlet, which is just basically an online collective sticky note generator But like, how many times do we use sticky notes in our classes? Actually, all the time as a brainstorming tool, right? So we’ve started to think about the kinds of informal interactions that we build into our activities and what is available to support those things Because I’m a professor and teaching learning and I study learning, I do know some things about instructional design and so what we talk about is imagining the ways we are inviting students to learn If you’re only inviting students to learn by listening, you’re actually undermining most of the opportunities to learn that are available to people So if we think about the different ways that people can engage information and engage in by talking, problem solve, apply something new, they can make a representation, they can a model, there’s all these different things that we do to engage information And just sort of imagine that Zoom is just good for presenting information Even just knowing that, it’s just the truth I have to say as a parent, video games are mostly to entertain, don’t confuse yourself that you’re learning, that the kid is learning anything, it’s liberating, right? OK, this is the entertainment time I think understanding that about Zoom as well, has been a first step for our team, so we can really understand what we can do here and what we have to search for to do the other stuff we have in mind Ryan Hickox: One point related to this, there’s a couple of things coming along in the chat about how do we convince the powers that be that in the long run that we need to have, that the residential college model is something that needs to be continually funded It takes money, and it takes resources, and everybody’s going to be strapped And I think in some ways it’s important to try and internalize I mean, Melissa mentioned all the things we can do to try and take best advantage of online learning, but at some level there’s a lot of stuff that is, and I think somebody made the point really early on, maybe it was Melissa, that’s not why people come to college, right? And for the most part, at least when they come to residential colleges, they come for the whole experience And so I would like to, I wonder, and I don’t know if actually we’re doing anything like this, but it would be really useful to have some sense of, some kind of survey instrument or something of what really is lacking Even if we’re doing our online education as well as possible, what are the things that are still missing out of the residential experience? And then say OK, we clearly have identified these are the reasons why we need to have a residential experience for students, and then come back and say well OK, we know based on a lot of the research that you all have done and people have done for a long time, that in order to achieve those things, a residential college is the most effective way to do it If you see what I mean People have talked about how in some ways this particular experiment we are doing here will prove the value of a residential college education But in that sense, if you figure out really what that value is, and then say this is something we need to continue doing, this is what our special sauce is, for actual physical brick-and-mortar colleges, then you can easily make the next step and say if you’re really going to try and be excellent in that, then having a residential college system or some type of communities like that are excellent I wonder whether there’s an opportunity to sort of leverage that as we’re sort of going back into a fully-, or I’ve heard people refer to it as the 3-D world As we’re getting back into the 3-D world, can we really show that the way that we are doing things is the way that needs to be funded and prioritized Lauren Oliver (Virginia Tech): I think one thing is, I think we talked about this a little bit

Lauren Oliver from Virginia Tech. I work with our residential colleges there, and we talked about this a little bit yesterday Some of our deepest learning we all know happens in relationship And a lot of, I don’t know if other schools have this kind of barrier, but our IT doesn’t really let us use software or different kind or endorse different kinds of platforms that might be the most natural way for students to connect virtually We have to have some kind of security barriers on that, so a lot of students would love something like HouseParty or would love to do different games together and that’s where the most deepening of relationships can happen when the students are finding they are a little strained on Zoom and platforms that are traditionally used as a university mechanism I think that’s one thing of how do we figure out during this time to maybe be less rigid in places that we normally try to be rigid, are there ways we can be less so to let natural and organic relationship-building happen across students that we can also learn from because I think that it doesn’t help us either to have students in those platforms doing that relationship-building and then not to have knowledge or participation or engagement from faculty or other campus partners that could be really helpful during that time to be using those platforms, too So that’s one thing that I’ve thought about in terms of how we think more creatively about opening ourselves up to different online platforms And another thing that I’ve thought about too, is I don’t know if anybody has participated in online classes We did a little bit in high school, but flipped classes, where you watch the materials before, and maybe someone said this because I know I jumped on a little bit late, but where you watch the material before coming into the conversation and then kind of share out after I’ve thought a lot with that, if we use that mechanism for some of our weekly teas and stuff, how to maybe set students up with faculty members in pods so that they have a consistent network in which they are deepening relationships because I think it’s going be unrealistic to expect them all to connect across the whole sphere of the student body So those are kind of the things that I’ve been thinking on and how we touch on some of these core challenges Clark Maddux: I suppose I might add too, then Thank you, Lauren, Michael, and Paula for prompting this part of the discussion You know, one of the things that residential colleges obviously bring to a student’s university experience, at least in America, is the partnership when it works well, it works incomparably well between academic affairs faculty and students affairs and housing And so I think one of the ways to sort of address some of these things, I like how Paula put it, instead of protecting traditional practices, expanding them to new spaces, is to sort of ask ourselves how we do that in a virtual world if we’re required to, right? How we show and exemplify and enact that partnership between faculty and student affairs And I think there are ways to do that, I appreciate you all sort of putting that in the forefront of my mind and think about how as we move forward, how we’ll do that with our colleagues in housing and student affairs While we’re on that subject, I’ll just point at the question that just popped up on there, on the chat box, but how we do some of these things to reach out to first-generation, low-income students to ensure that they’re getting connected to resources Any ideas there? Ryan Hickox: I know at Dartmouth, one thing we did here, I imagine a number of places may still have some students on campus for various reasons We have a big international student population, so a lot of them we have are ones that couldn’t go home for various reasons, but we also have students whose family situations or whatever was not safe for them to be in the home so they had to be here. And I just heard yesterday, actually, that there’s been an organized effort by the student affairs staff who are the people

who work in our residential house system, that actually reach out individually to each of the students who are on campus here, just to check in and see how they are feeling Because it’s really a weird experience, they’re all walking around, they have to socially distance, but they see each other The place is kind of a ghost town It’s challenging From what I understand, that was very well received The students for the most part really appreciated being reached out to But that’s a small subset and I think if, when you know where someone is, and you kind of have a specific reason for contacting them, that’s easier If you’re trying to identify all the students, you may have trouble engaging, that’s harder I know that Dartmouth, at least, has our student affairs and our academic deans, I’m a faculty member, as head of the house, so I haven’t done this stuff specifically, so I know that our staff have been unbelievable in the amount of work they’ve been doing, both helping students transition back home and also trying to keep tabs on people But it is a challenging question for how to do that, all that stuff remotely I don’t have a really good answer other than I think if you can make those connections, they are appreciated Karen Inkelas: One thing I can suggest, at least at UVA, maybe at other universities, the university does know who is first-generation They’re not very good at releasing income information, for obvious privacy reasons, but they do know who is a first-generation student I’ve often asked our institutional research office amongst my students, which ones are ones who are fist-gen and they have told me So I can identify them Now, we don’t use that information to say “hey! We found out you’re a first-gen student,” that’s not very responsible use of that data, but we have reached out in different ways to that population to ask questions: do you need help in moving? Can we provide you basic supplies when you first get to grounds? Things like that MarQuita (Elon University): At Elon, we took the similar approach when all this happened We actually haven’t closed yet We did not require students to go home because we knew that students for whatever reasons may not have been able to go home, so if a student needed to stay, they stayed, no questions asked Now that did present some challenges when we got to credits and refunds, but I think the university took the approach that we were putting students first So I’m proud we did that Karen Inkelas: We still have about 30 students We’re feeding them because now the dining halls closed So we are actually the ones that are feeding them, as well as housing them Paula Patch (Elon University): I will say, too, at Elon, we have an established office, a center for access and success, that had already had structures in place for reaching out And so if I were thinking about how you could quickly replicate some of the structures that are working, one is having a dedicated point person that those students know they can contact, and that is contacting those students So that could be anybody on any team, we just happen to have somebody who’s director of that program that the students already have a relationship with I’ve been asking , I work fairly closely with that program, so I have a couple of students in my actual classes who are connected with that program, so I’ve purposefully asked them, so how is this program, are there things that this program is doing that might be, you know, just kind of an idea, are those students being reached and they did have conversations about making sure the students had technology access for everything from computers to wifi and things like that Those students know they needed, they could go to that point person and ask for that because they already, that person already kind of knew their story and their backgrounds, so it wasn’t the cold calling, like “we think you might need some help.” The other thing that program has is they have a really strong network of mentors, so upper-level students who have come through that program and who are fairly more on their feet, and are checking in with mentees, so they have this mentoring program There’s a way to connect student to student in that pipeline That might be a way to do it, but I think having the point person, that someone knows they can trust has been a way that our first-gen students have been reached out to, if they’re off-campus Carl Krieger: I think that’s a really great point, Paula, that you brought up to kind of tie this back to the conversation earlier One of the pieces of a residential college that makes a residential college so successful is the intertwining of so many aspects of the university We are really good at knowing lots of people and having connections to lots of people

And so, I think it would behoove us to use those connections and make sure that we know what is happening out there because there are other departments out there that are serving these traditionally under-served communities, and we should go out and say “what are you doing?” And it doesn’t always mean that we have to replicate it, but if we can partner with them, or if we know that that’s happening, and we can give them some support in whatever manner, then it can show how we are one of those lynchpin pieces of an institution where we are tying together all of these different support mechanisms for our students I just think that one of the things that we’re doing at Purdue is we had already unveiled an initiative that was this kind of aspirational overarching program called “Steps to Leaps” that has 5 tenets and kind of gets us all on the same language And we had been doing it in person throughout the year, and then when all this hit, we started doing these lunch and learns virtually and it kind of exploded We went from having about 30 people attend to having 60 to 100 attend. And a lot of what we were doing is just sharing information about …. Here is a department that is doing this, and here’s how you can take that information and use it in what you’re doing And so I just think there is so much out there and available on every campus Lauren Oliver: I think what we need to be cognizant of though, like to kind of follow up on that point, I think what I worry about is kind of like the Netflix paralysis of sorts I often use this as like a way to talk about things when students are so overwhelmed by so many options What ends up happening, especially first gen and low income students can’t sift through those options So it’s difficult for them to understand what resource or mechanism to go through in order to get connected to that I think that it’s going to be ever more important for res colleges to be a general starting point for students, like you’re saying Carl, in terms of resource connection, that they’re reminded that there are like one or two people, that they can start there, and that the path to connection can be simple I think that ….many institutions are talking about furloughs I think that there are offices fighting to stay relevant right now and in that fighting to stay relevant we are seeing messaging to students continue to just grow because I think everybody wants to be a support for our students in terms of division of student affairs offices and faculty, etc But I think what I worry about is that students are getting so tapped that they can’t sift through that and I think we need to figure out how we can message less to students and more strategically so that the path to resources and the path to engagement seems simple I think if it’s not clear we will lose students who can’t sift through that information and distract them from what their most important thing is in college which is being connected to their academics Well, I think that’s the primary purpose Some people might argue Shannon Lundeen: So we have a question from Brittany in the chat about how supervisory models of undergrad leaders like RAs and other peer mentors might shift or change, particularly in how we build relationships with first year students who are transitioning into college in a hybrid or possibly all virtual world I just want to extend that question to incorporate something else that has been a bit of a concern for a lot of people right now – burnout . For many of us who are trying to, just Zoom fatigue. For many of us who are trying to offer this kind of support to our students, and all of us having to maintain in our hearts the hope that we will one day return to pre-pandemic time And also the other hope that there will be some kind of end in sight, we will be able to know when that end is coming With that kind of level of constantly carrying the indefinite with the need to support both our students but also take care of ourselves, a lot of people are talking about “I can’t do one more Zoom, I can’t do one more email, I can’t do one more whatever it is, reach out to students.” And so I think we also need to be cognizant of the fact that we think about different staff models, whether it’s for our faculty and staff who are doing this work, or even our student leaders That we have to be mindful of the kind of unique exhaustion that comes with these virtual realities that we are in now, and trying to maintain these relationships whether it is

a hybrid or a fully virtual connection to our students So I just want to throw that out there as another concern for people to consider and talk about Ryan Hickox: I would say, just to add to that, that as with all of our work, empathy and understanding, the sort of emotional and intellectual and social experiences of our students are so important And this is one case where we are kind of all experiencing this all at the same time None of us have had (I hope) to spend so much time on video chat during the whole day, so we’re all feeling this new experience of Zoom burnout all at once So that certainly in terms of our thinking and discussions that we have had in our community, we have really tried to map out what the students are, like “what can we do well?” “Would you want to do this particular thing in the evening?” Or what can we expect to be a reasonable engagement? I think that’s really something I think they can help in terms of understanding what the students are going through is that to a large extent all of us are going through the same thing, and to keep that in mind Clark Maddux: This may not be a possibility for everybody and not all of our student leaders take advantage of this, but our student leaders can receive academic credit for the work they are doing with other students It is an elective, so it doesn’t count toward a degree plan, but it is an option that a lot of our students seem to find really valuable The other thing that we do with our student leaders, whether they are RAs or assume other roles in the college is, we help them understand how they can use those leadership roles, those leadership positions as a way to develop their own resumes, their own skill set, and can market that as they move on We are very intentional, kind of, in working with our career development center, with other faculty, with our Student Affairs partners, in how they can do that kind of thing Shannon Lundeen: I want to be mindful of the time I know that about half of the people we started with have already signed off, so it looks like maybe 5:00, maybe a little after 5:00 is the time for us to bring this to a close We value hearing from all of your perspectives and your experiences and we would like to keep this conversation going You can probably plan to hear from us a little later this summer once some of us have some more concrete plans or ideas about what is going to be expected of us and how we are going to engage with our students in the fall semester I look forward to another conversation with all of you and sharing both our resources, our ideas and our expertise Thank you all for being on the call Clark Maddux: Thank you Shannon, I’ll copy the link and share it with the executive team and then we can distribute however we see fit Shannon Lundeen: Sounds great Thank you for letting us use your Zoom Clark Maddux: Sure, glad to Shannon Furr: Clark, I just shared those minutes with you Clark Maddux: OK I’ll share them with Trish and the rest of the executive team so that they can use them, OK? Shannon Furr: OK, sounds good Clark Maddux: We’ll see y’all!