Zoom Trivia and Instagram Photo Contests Help Students Stay Connected to Wellesley

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April 13, 2020

During a regular semester, on any day of the week a Wellesley student could find an event to join on campus by checking WEngage: From Hawaii Club’s annual Lūʻau and House Council’s Lip Sync contest to Halloween-themed bingo, there was always some way to enjoy the Wellesley community.

With the shift to remote instruction, and while members of the Wellesley community are spread out across the nation and around the world, the College is offering a host of opportunities to stay together virtually until everyone can return to campus.

Last week they hosted a pet photo contest on Instagram where students submitted photos for the chance to win an Amazon gift card, using the social platform for its true intended purpose: Showing off cute pets. And coming up on April 16, students can test their Disney movie knowledge with a trivia night via Zoom, from April 20 to 24, the Office of Student Involvement will host a virtual talent show on its Instagram channel.

“We are working hard to recreate the experience of being on campus and to keep our students and organizations engaged while we are away,” said Jessica Grady, director of student involvement and leadership. “We will be offering online programs and talent competitions throughout the next few weeks for our students to come together, connect, and have some fun.” She recommends students follow the office on Instagram to stay up to date with programming or visit WEngage.

“We are working hard to recreate the experience of being on campus and to keep our students and organizations engaged while we are away.”

Jessica Grady, director of student involvement and leadership

The office also plans to work with the Schneider Board of Governors (SBOG), the student group within College Government that is responsible for planning and hosting large-scale events like Fall Frenzy and Spring Week.

As gathering for worship has had to change to reflect a new normal, so has religious and spiritual programming at the College from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. For Passover, Rabbi Dena Bodian hosted virtual Seders and mailed Seder kits to students, and kosher Passover meals were available for students remaining on campus. Sarah Robbins-Cole, College chaplain and Christian life coordinator, joined with three clergy members from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church to provide virtual worship on Facebook throughout Holy Week.

ORSL continues to offer weekly programming including pastoral counseling and care sessions; three weekly digital learning opportunities via Zoom: Torah study; Intro to Judaism; a daily snippet of Talmud (on Facebook); and virtual spaces for Bible study, Shabbat, meditation, and prayer.

“We hope that these opportunities help nourish our students’ spirituality and provide them with a sense of community, even as they are far away from campus,” said Jacquelina Marquez, dean of religious and spiritual life.