By Princess Fox, Director of Student Programs and Greg Brock, Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life
Proximity, physical presence, and shared experiences are the core of community — the definitive pillar of Northwest Christian University. The past few weeks have challenged every effort to foster community as our students scatter all over the nation, and even the world, since even international students have gone home).
To answer the challenge, our Student Life teams find a balance between addressing the immediate crisis and celebrating the exciting days ahead of us as Bushnell University. Reminders of our future as a university boost morale, evidenced by the enthusiastic response when every member of the Beacon community received their first official Bushnell shirts in the mail. All 400-plus gifts included handwritten notes from staff, lending glimpses of hope, light, and laughter to our Beacon community.
With more than 50 students remaining on campus, health and safety are the priority for Residence Life staff. Changes have been made to the cafeteria and resident hall practices to maintain social distancing.
For those who’ve gone home, Resident Assistants are reaching out to each student and have adapted their leadership role to encompass online formats, meeting and mentoring through teleconferencing and video meetings. Social media campaigns engage our students with their peers, faculty and staff. Creative ‘events’ are taking place, including a LIVE ‘talent show’ and Synchronized Movie Nights On-line. On Easter week, we are asking some of our students to record their favorite Easter songs and post them for an Easter ‘concert’. Staff and students are even putting together a cooking show, with their favorite recipes. All of this helps students connect their home lives to their university lives.
Nothing will replace the experience of being together as a Beacon Family. But we know that our efforts are making a difference. And we know that the love of Christ connects us no matter how scattered we are.