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NEWSLETTER November 2020

JOIN THE FUN ONLINE @acuiregionvii


Updates from our

REGIONAL DIRECTOR

Greetings Region VII! My term as regional director will be ending with the 2020 Regional Conference. While this year continues to bring new challenges (in the form of a pandemic, racial injustices, and divisive politics), I am grateful for the peers, colleagues, and friends that surround us. Each week, members of the regional leadership team have facilitated a virtual space on Zoom to assist anyone that is trying to process the events happening around us at the international, national, and regional level. Many times we have delved into the personal impacts of those events and supported each other. I ask that you find ways to seek the support you need and to support those around you. As many of you are probably addressing the issue on your campuses, Region VII has been mindful with our budget expenses this year while still planning for an engaging online Regional Conference experience. We have identified ways to support regional members through the general scholarship fund. If you are not already aware, members of Region VII have and continue to be giving individuals. Our scholarship funds will continue to support members as professional development funds may be limited at your institution. For more information on ways to apply for the general scholarship to be used with an ACUI experience, please visit https://www.acui.org/regions/vii/regionalscholarships.


I am excited to see the leadership of Anthony Otero and the eager to witness the innovation that I know we need as a result of the global pandemic. The impact on higher education, specifically student affairs, will require new ideas, and I can think of no one better to push the envelope. I would prefer to be handing off my gavel to Anthony in person, for now I will be celebrating his leadership from home as we continue to navigate through 2020. Finally, I would like to thank the members of the past and current Conference Planning Teams and the Regional Leadership Teams for the past two years. Giving back to our association in the form of time and energy is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I regret that I could not do more in the time I had as regional director but I am proud of the work that could be done.

Be safe, be well, and be the best you can be in the moment you are in, Vinny

Please join the Regional Leadership Teams from 2018-2020 in thanking Vinny for his service and leadership these last two years. -Adriane Reilly, Region VII Communications Coordinator


Mark your calendar for

UPCOMING EVENTS While many of us are working from home, ACUI has ramped up its online learning opportunities! There's a full calendar of seminars and institutes, as well as opportunities to connect regionally and virtually. Visit www.acui.org/events and www.acui.org/onlinelearning for details.

ACUI Together Series November 9, 1 p.m. November 19, 4 p.m. December 1, 11:30 a.m. December 17, 4 p.m.

Unique Spaces in the College Union November 10, 11 a.m. Region VII Conference November 11-13

Transitions: Career Evolution During a Pandemic December 1, 3 p.m. 2020 Review and Reflect December 15, 11 a.m.

SafeZone Foundations November 16, 3 p.m.

All times listed are in Eastern Standard Time.


Updates from the 2020 Region VII

CONFERENCE

PLANNING TEAM The 2020 Region VII Conference Planning Team has had many ups and downs, twists and turns throughout our planning, but we couldn’t be more excited to see the conference come to life! We first came together virtually at the beginning of February and were anticipating gathering in person mid-April. Little did we know that we wouldn’t be meeting in person (not even for the conference)!

Regardless, we’ve been working diligently to plan a virtual experience that highlights building community, learning from others, and celebrating our accomplishments. I know how beneficial connecting with colleagues in the field can be (I don’t know how I would have made it through these past seven months without my ACUI family), and I don’t want money to be a barrier for those that want to attend the conference. Please apply for an ACUI Region VII Scholarship (it’s easy)! Region VII has been very successful over the past few years in fundraising during our Regional Conferences (YEAH!) to build up our Scholarship Fund so that money can be given to those who wish to attend an ACUI program. We are thrilled for you to see what we’ve been working on and look forward to seeing you in November! -Ashley Venneman, Conference Coordinator


Submit an educational session by October 30

Register for the conference by November 6

Bu y tickets to the magic sh ow !

Sign up f or th e Scav enge r Hun t

DONATE AN ITEM Apply for a TO THE Region VII SILENT scholarship if AUCTION

you need help paying for registration.

register today for the Region VII 2020 Virtual Conference. While the Conference Planning Team finalizes the schedule, please hold November 11-12 from noon-5 p.m. Eastern and November 13 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern for conference content. We will also have optional late-night programming and fundraiser opportunities in the evening! Check our website for up to date information.


Updates from the 2020 Region VII

CONFERENCE

PLANNING TEAM

Fundraising Updates

Kim Celano, Region VII Conference Fundraising Coordinator

Vendor Updates

Chrissie King, Region VII Conference Vendor Coordinator Even though this year isn’t going to be quite the same, our vendors are excited to be working with ACUI again! We are extremely excited to be hosting an Escape Room sponsored by Record-A-Hit Entertainment! We are finalizing details, so make sure to check your schedule to sign up and check out other vendors you can use at your institutions!

Since we will not be traveling to ACUI this year, we wanted to provide options for your families to get involved in the experience! We will be kicking off the first night of the conference with a family-friendly, interactive Magic Show, hosted by Temple University student Jake Strong! Jake has been featured on NBC alongside Eagles’ long-snapper & America’s Got Talent finalist Jon Dorenbos and has performed his magic all over the United States. (Mark your calendars November 11 at 7 p.m. Eastern). We will also be having a Funds for Fitness-style Scavenger Hunt! All participants will have to look for the same clues and take pictures on their walk/run/roll, then post them to Region VII’s Facebook page. We can’t wait to see what you all find in your neighborhoods!

Building Bridges Goes Virtual!

Casey Coleman, Region VII Conference Keynotes and All-Conference Sessions Coordinator As a conference favorite, this year we will be offering an opportunity for networking and allowing attendees to 'build bridges' with colleagues who work in similar functional areas and identify with various affinity groups. You'll be able to connect with other folks who might have a lot in common with you! We can't wait!


Musings from Region VII's

INCLUSIVITY

COORDINATOR an opinion piece from Jay Patel

Hello Region VII, I have two words to say,

GO VOTE!

As we have lived with COVID-19 and the extreme racial tension and injustices in the United States, our vote counts more than ever for this election year. Why Should We Vote? The Future! We are not only voting our current officials but voting for officials that lead the way for future policies, which include racial sensitivity training for federal contractors and police in the United States. Leading the Way. Your vote leads the way for federal, state, and local officials diversify and protect lower level government for racial biases. It's your Right! Even though the system is designed to make this difficult, it is still your right if you're a U.S. citizen. Please exercise your right. Do what you need to do! As we have seen, our vote back in 2016 has impacted and affected our response to COVID-19, race, and education. This is just a mere snapshot of the policies that have drastically affected underrepresented populations. This election will define wealth, equality, education, and civil rights for generations. Those of us who are U.S. citizens are tasked with a great responsibility to participate in our democracy and elect those who will bring positive change. We have one shot‌.

Let's Get It Done!

Sincerely, Jay Patel ACUI Region VII Inclusivity Coordinator Pateljay@rowan.edu


community healing & reflection sessions JULIE'S THOUGHTS

"I am grateful to have a consistent time to talk to people who understand my work and can help me process [gestures broadly] all this. It's been something I look forward to at the end of each week knowing I'll get to be in community with some of my ACUI family."

Julie Fleming, Ed.D., Montclair State University

Join Region VII for a Space to Heal and Reflect in a virtual space to discuss the current harms in and around the world in relation to our work at the campus level every Friday in October at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. We plan to provide breakout spaces as well as question prompts that will assist in developing plans for returning to our campuses and supporting our students, staff, and faculty of color. Zoom Info: https://iu.zoom.us/j/91608225908?pwd=R2pIYy9RY3pLUHFoWGFPR0grSzNTQT09 Password: 727274


Reflections from

RETIREMENT Meg O'Sullivan

The newest member of the retirement club... What an amazing journey I have had! I loved my job and my career. I worked at SUNY-Downstate for the past 37 years with the most amazing students in the world. For the most part I have also been very lucky to work with an incredible staff that have supported me along the way. I started volunteering with ACUI when I was a graduate student at Long Island University Post and was allowed to continue when I started at Downstate as long as I had all my work done. It provided me a wonderful opportunity to stay connected with higher education trends, build networks, travel, and develop my own leadership skills by volunteering and taking on various leadership roles within the Association. Soon I was able to work on Regional Leadership Teams and Conference Program and Planning Teams. I also took on some international leadership roles where I planned, chaired, and hosted Annual Conferences and even got to serve as the ACUI president from 2010-2011. Being a volunteer with ACUI introduced me to some of my oldest and greatest friendships and that alone is why ACUI will always be a part of my life! Lifelong learning and friendships with people who make me laugh, have my back, and make me want to be a better friend because of them. While I was doing various volunteer jobs for the Association, my job on campus also expanded and I took over orientation and commencement as well as the student center and residential life and services. One of the things that I always tried to do was to live within my means. In the beginning with student loans and car payments and mortgage it wasn’t so easy to do but the longer you work, the more money you make. After a great deal of planning, I was able to get out of debt and start to really put away as much money as I could for my retirement. Hence my exit strategy was being implemented. You can’t retire if you don’t save enough money. And how much is enough? That is up to you! They call this stage one for retirement...planning, In my case that meant saving! I decided five years ago, I would probably plan on retiring in four years.


Well a few things extended my time. Life happens and you just keep going. You may have also heard of COVID-19...well that puts the breaks on a bit as well. A whole new world as they say! I hadn’t given an exact date to my boss, and I really didn’t want to retire and be quarantined so we started a whole new way to work and Zoom from home just going in a day or two a week. We couldn’t travel, go out to dinner, and my retirement party was cancelled. So we just hunkered down and figured out a new normal. Thankfully I have an exceptional staff and throughout the summer made me realize it was time to update my exit plan and implement it! They were well trained to take over and assume all of my responsibilities. I had planned for this, so it was time to submit my resignation letter. So here I am...I took off most of September and my last day of vacation I needed to take before I left was September 30. Although not the original party that was planned, my assistant pulled together a special champagne toast with some folks I worked with for many years on campus and it was great! My last day was very special with a small dinner on campus with my immediate staff. It was a beautiful night and just a perfect send off. Celebrating is actually the next phase that happens with retirement! My first day of retirement was October 1 so you can tell I am still in the very beginning of stage 3 the “honeymoon” phase of my retirement. Every day is Saturday! Life is good! I attended a small wedding last weekend and people were congratulating me on my retirement but everyone also wanted to know what are you going to do now? Well it’s only been a couple of days...I do want to finish refreshing the apartment, travel isn’t really a big option at this point but I am hopeful I will get a few trips in soon. Although my long planned trip to Italy will have to wait there are some places that I can still visit! I have a large family most of whom I have not seen since before the quarantine that I can now visit. I also planned to get super organized with my closets and Christmas decorations! I will soon be renting a storage bin and moving tubs of decorations into their new home. There is really many things to do! I just applied for a new social security card so I can get my enhanced drivers license and I am updating my mailing labels for my Christmas card list. As soon as I send this article in, I need to finish writing my thank you notes! I am hoping the honeymoon phase of retirement lasts a long time and I get to reconnect and visit with friends I haven’t seen in person in a long time, get back to volunteering at the hospital when it is permitted, read more books not just for book club and take more time for me and Vin! He makes me laugh every day and we keep each other on our toes. There is no one I would rather spend my retirement days with.


So although there are supposedly six or so phases of retirement, I am hoping Stage 3 lasts for a while. The next phase may be a disenchantment feeling...is this all there is? They said this phase doesn’t last too long and is immediately followed by a reorientation phase, perhaps building a new identity? Figuring out what my purpose may be? Making sure I still feel valued and then the last phase is Moving On. In this phase I will have more of a routine and probably start to wonder how I ever had time for work! Before I end I just want to remind all of you to take time for yourselves! Do whatever it is that brings you happiness. Working and school should bring you some joy or you wouldn’t want to keep doing it. Make sure you are laughing at least a couple of times a day! Your years will fly by faster then you thought possible and it’s great when you can think back and smile at the wonderful career you have had! Thanks for reading! Please keep in touch. My new email address is mosullivan1850@gmail.com.

Meg O’Sullivan Retired 10/2020


We Love Our Volunteer Roles a "Latte"!!! We'd love to share all about them with you! Check out the Volunteer Development Team's Coffee Meet Ups to engage with current and past volunteers about their experience! The Volunteer Development Team is excited to host monthly coffee meetups. The meetup for each month will focus on a different volunteer role that is leading, planning, serving, or contributing. During the meetups, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the role, time commitment, and how past volunteers have balanced work, volunteering, and life. There will be time for Q&A at the end of the meetup so bring any questions you might have! Upcoming meetups are listed below along with the zoom information. image designed by Cara White!

Upcoming Meetups Wednesday, October 21 at 2 p.m. Eastern - Regional Leadership Team Thursday, November 19 at 2 p.m. Eastern - Conference Planning Team Thursday, December 3 at 2 p.m. Eastern - Association Leadership Team Zoom Information https://iu.zoom.us/j/92292094247?pwd=SmRqUFBQbGtpU3QwTjk1MTM2Wjc0dz09 Meeting ID: 922 9209 4247 Password: VDTCOFFEE If you are interested in having a one on one coffee meetup to learn more a specific volunteer position, please email Kait Howarth at Howarthk1@wpunj.edu for more information!

COVID-19 Resources https://www.acui.org/resources/covid-19-resources COVID-19 is changing the world and impacting higher education. The ACUI resources online may assist you in navigating how to best serve your students and colleagues through this ever-changing situation.


Who's Innovating in Region VII

VIRTUAL BENEFIT CONCERT University System of Maryland

From the Room to ZoomCreating a System Wide Virtual Benefit Concert Joe Benyish (Salisbury University), Laura Hood (University of Maryland, College Park), Elizabeth Purswani (Towson University) Adapted from a NACA blog post https://www.naca.org/BLOG/Pages/9-10-2020-from-room-to-zoom.aspx

In March of 2020 all of the University System of Maryland Schools (USM) went online, staff members from the USM Student Life Consortium, student activities staff from across Maryland, started meeting weekly to discuss virtual programming and mental health support. Through conversations with a core group of staff, the idea of hosting a virtual benefit concert came about to raise funds for student crisis funds throughout the USM system. As the USMUnited.org website states, “When COVID-19 hit Maryland, students began to experience significant financial hardships. This benefit concert is to raise money through sharing stories, student performances, and a virtual concert.” After five months of planning, staff who worked on this show behind the scenes will saw it come to fruition on Saturday, September 12 at 2 p.m. Eastern streamed via YouTube. The event featured pre-taped content from student and alumni performers, as well as special appearances from the Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan, USM chancellor, university presidents and other alumni, students and staff from the various institutions. Following this there was a live portion of the show featuring national acts! Through the months of working together on this event, we thought it would be a good idea to share lessons learned throughout the process in case your campuses wanted to develop similar events!


Purpose of the event In the spring semester of 2020, at a time when staff all felt lost and the students were hurting both financially and socially, we knew we wanted to do something to help our students. We knew that we could not put together a virtual concert in the spring when our in person large scale concerts were to occur, so we set up a summer schedule for planning. We tried to stick to deadlines, and kept the purpose of the event to help support students in our minds throughout all planning and outreach. We took this small idea and wanted to make it into something big, with the sole purpose to support students. What does it mean to be part of a system/serve a community? We know this was bigger than one school and we asked in the beginning for everyone to share the load. You have to let people know when you are overwhelmed and need help. We also know this is something new - so having expectations that match that. We know we are bringing awareness to the crisis funds and at the end of the day - we will be bringing awareness and hopefully receiving donations. Silos within a system You do not need to be best friends or have a strong network to host an event like this. You need motivated staff members that are committed to working together and being honest with each other. We had a connection prior to this through the USM Student Life Consortium, but we utilized our co-workers to help with the event load and campus partners to assist in other areas. We knew from the beginning that budget would be paramount. Some schools were able to fund more of the event, and some not at all, but we worked together throughout the process to ensure that all schools that wanted to be a part of the planning were. Further, we knew that staff size would come into play. There were some staff members who were a part of a seven person team assisting, and some who were a one person office! There were also some no’s from schools to participate in the event. We were ultimately OK with that as we wanted staff and program boards that were all in. It didn’t mean that the event wouldn’t be fundraising for them or that they couldn’t support in other ways such as marketing, it just meant that they weren’t a part of the planning process.


Committees and to do lists We started with a small group of people in the beginning stages of planning this event, and then once purpose and overall ideas were established, we brought other campuses on board to split up into committees for actual tasks. There were three committees- artist relations and production, marketing and public relations, and development and sponsorships. Each had their own staff pushing the cause, and worked to establish action items for each institution. For example- artist relations worked directly with the production team, marketing oversaw the full marketing picture including all logos and flyer development, and development and sponsorship oversaw the asks for donations and overall sponsorship items. Through collaboration, the team supported each other on major initiatives, such as run through of show, video content, slide transitions, marketing the week of, and other items. Nothing like throwing a major initiative into play during a pandemic while planning for virtual or in person or hybrid fall! We had to stay motivated throughout to keep others on task, while juggling many other commitments. Expect the unexpected- DJ...copyright...contracts taking FOREVER Even if you know it’s going to be a problem - be open with the agents with your concerns. We were open with our campuses legal offices, and they didn’t have concerns with copyright, but our tech company did have concerns and we listened to them. The public nature of this event and it’s many moving pieces meant that we needed to be extra cautious with its planning and execution. This type of event wasn’t something we could ask for forgiveness later. It was not only an event that cost money that we were able to move over from the spring, but it was something that tied together all of the state system schools. New times = New contract processes. We did not allow time for a quick contract process. We saw many rejections throughout the process, and we started very early on (May), and even with that it took a while to get a final list. We didn’t expect artists to say no. When we pulled our money together and what each school could afford in an artist - we thought we would be able to get some of the top names on the charts. Some artists didn’t want to be live streamed, didn’t want to be part of a benefit concert or simply didn’t want to perform virtually. Despite the setbacks we were fortunate to end up with our finalized group of artists!


Marketing, marketing, marketing We all know that marketing for any event is extremely important, and marketing for an event that was between many campuses and virtual was of utmost importance. We had to make sure to remain consistent in our messaging as well as the looks of our logo, flyers, website, Facebook event, etc. We did this by making sure that marketing and public relations was one of the committees in planning, and by having two staff members, from the same institution, lead this charge. For an event such as this, it’s important to get your marketing departments on board early and keeping them in the loop as much as possible! It was important to utilize the student voice in this remote and limited programming capacity since we live in this different and virtual world when it. We weren’t afraid to give people all the supplies in promotion, including asking people to share and tag as much as they could on social media. In the beginning of our promotion, we realized that sharing wasn’t getting people excited about the event. We needed our students to share to their communities and get excited about the event. We needed the cross promotion of students in the organizations they’re involved in, as well as staff to utilize their cross promotion and networking circles. We needed to learn and enhance new ways of marketing. Flyers were not happening due to campus restrictions so we relied on student publications, network Facebook groups, and NACA Blogs. Leveraging our tech help partners in the process Do you have roommates or colleagues who are really great at something? Are there others across campus who may love to be a part of something that isn’t normally in their roles? Ask them to pitch in! Everyone knows their limits, and video editing and website design was ours! So we asked our roommates and partners to help. It’s good to know that Res Life staff (former or current) really are jacks of all trades and can jump in as needed! Campus stakeholders Who from your campus is going to love this event? We latched onto our development offices to help promote and share in their channels. They were able to share it with alumni and other AVPs. We talked with our marketing offices and got them excited for the event. They brought in all of their support and assistance as needed. For this event, we knew that we wanted to attract current students, alumni, and faculty and staff. Therefore we started early on with talking about the need for diverse artists that reach different generations. We wanted to take a fundraising standpoint and obviously raise a lot for the student crisis funds, but we also wanted to provider much needed entertainment for our students!


Other big takeaways Work with a middle agent - without our middle agents through this process we would have been LOST. Work with contacts in the digital marketplace Connect with the leaders in the field. We do not need to recreate the wheel. Talk to other institutions or staff who have done this before! Support NACA entertainers and agents. Create a core team of program planners - you have to have your squad! Those are the folks that hold you accountable, and are with you through the good, the bad, and the ugly! Create a fun social chat with them so you can mix in work and play. Use your connections on campus to promote - get out of your silo! This was a great opportunity for us to build relationships outside of our own areas. Set up weekly meetings (better to have it set and cancel, then not have it set) - stay as organized as possible and scheduling weekly calls really kept us on track. Give yourself time to plan (at least 4 months) - even when you think you have all of the time in the world, you don’t! Allow for as much time as you possibly can, and remember to treat a virtual event as if it was in in person event. Relationships are important… we’re in a relational field. Remember to keep Have fun along the way! Remember, campus programming isn’t rocket science, even if we think it is sometimes.


Check out these

REGION VII

OPPORTUNITIES Volunteer

Volunteering for Region VII is a great way to expand your network, develop your skills, and give back to your professional association of choice. Apply at https://www.acui.org/volunteer/applications/regionvii-volunteer-application

Apply

Scholarships from Region VII are available to participate in upcoming ACUI learning opportunities. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis online at https://www.acui.org/regions/vii/regionalscholarships.Â

Connect

Now's a great time to reach out to a colleague to encourage self-care and stress management. Take a moment to touch base with one another. Kind people are our kind of people!


Who's Innovating in Region VII

INVOVLEMENT FAIRS Penn State University For the health and safety of the Penn State and State College community, the Office of Student Activities chose to move our typically in-person, 10,000+ person one-day Fall Involvement Fair to virtual in late-June 2020. Our goal was to simulate the in-person fair as much as possible, looking for ways students could have informal conversation and connect with potential new members. Through attending many roundtable discussions with colleagues across the country, we settled on a threeprong approach: FlipGrid, a YouTube Live Stream, and our Student Engagement Platform (Engage/OrgCentral). With over 600 organizations typically present at our fair, we had to move quickly in making a decision, leaving us unable to use any Involvement Fair components of our Engage platform. The idea of FlipGrid came from the use of it in our assistant director’s children's classes! Many K-5 classes moved learning to FlipGrid and we thought about how we could adapt it for our student organizations. We reached out to all our student organizations as well as campus partners to create a 90 second video to showcase what they do, who their target audience is, and how to get involved. We had 375 organizations/campus partners participate in this part of the fair and have had over 40,000 views of the different videos! Student organizations have continued to use these videos in their recruitment efforts and we decided to leave up the FlipGrid page for the semester. The second piece to our Virtual Involvement Fair was a three day YouTube Live stream featuring over 200 of our student organizations and departments. From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the first Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of class, we had 5-minute slots for student organizations to chat about their student organization. We recruited hosts for the stream from our different campus tour groups and gave them the opportunity to promote their involvement during any down time. We provided student organizations with the questions they’d be asked ahead of time and used those to facilitate a conversation during the stream. We also shared the streaming schedule ahead of time with students so they could tune in when an organization they were interested in was live. We used StreamYard to manage the stream, which provided a professional looking platform and was easy to monitor. Student organizations appreciated the time to talk about their involvement and ability to recruit during these remote times.


The last piece was utilizing our Engage platform, OrgCentral. Over the summer, we began allowing our student organizations to post Events on OrgCentral as a way to promote virtual events. We also sent out messaging encouraging them to post their meeting times/dates/links on their page, update their profile picture, and add videos and photos. We found the use of OrgCentral by both our student organizations and those looking to get involved increased from previous years. With many different aspects going on around the Virtual Fall Involvement Fair, we used our university website to host all the opportunities. We wanted to make it a one stop location for students looking to get involved. Typically after an in-person fair, we update our university website to reflect the next Spring fair. We have chosen to keep the current format as each of the above opportunities is still available for students to view. We believe our goal of trying to reach students through many different avenues while providing as close to an in-person fair experience as possible was met. Compared to prior years, the above method took more staff time than usual and less student organizations overall were involved. Although less organizations were involved, the opportunities to get involved have lasted longer than our traditional one-day fair. Our hope is to continue involvement efforts and to get more organizations on board with staff-developed recruitment opportunities. We are currently trying the Engage Involvement Fair tool for a pop-up October Involvement Fair. The efforts from our team made our Virtual Involvement Fair a success. Now to thinking how we can provide a meaningful Involvement Fair in the Spring! -Dawn Savage, Penn State University


Who's Innovating in Region VII

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT William Patterson University On the WPU campus, civic engagement is a fundamental part of the curriculum. As one of the core values of the institution, all students are expected to participate in at least four civic engagement activities before graduation. Civic engagement is part of the University Core Curriculum and a variety of activities are offered through the office of Campus Activities, Service, and Leadership. This semester, Hospitality Services has integrated civic engagement into their student staff model. Once or twice a month, staff will have the opportunity to participate in an activity that benefits the community. Currently, activities are grab and go and when permitted, will change to in-person events. So far this semester, we have designed tshirts to promote safety guidelines and written thank you cards to Custodial Services. Upcoming events include: hand knit scarves for Operation Gratitude, thank a veteran, and placemat making for Meals on Wheels.

-Kait Howarth, William Patterson University


this is not normal CASEY'S THOUGHTS

Casey Coleman, Montclair State University

If you’re like me, the days might feel foggy. That’s due to “temporal disintegration,” which I learned is when trauma can cause the days to blend together. It’s not normal. Prior to the pandemic, you would grocery shop and not even look twice at the people around you. (How the times have changed!) Now, you walk into a store now and you’re immediately cognizant of where you are, what you’ve touched, and what is happening around you. Are they wearing their mask properly? Are they too close to you? Is the store going to run out of toilet paper? Should you stock up? Stop.

Take a breath. Now do it again. Now take an even deeper breath. We are living through trauma. Anxiety and stress are real. All of this stress is taking up space in our brains. There are days where getting out of bed is a victory. These things are not normal. My pants are tighter, I’m more irritable, and I’m having a hard time focusing. I’m here to remind you to take care of yourself. Listen to your body. It will do wonders to protect you. I’ve turned off many of the notifications on my phone, I started going for walks, and I’ve been drinking more tea. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about not having my camera on and not exercising as much. In all of this chaos, we need to be good to ourselves first. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and make sure you vote.


Featured on

REGION VII'S Our Instagram account is alive thanks to the awesome work of Emily Kofman from West Chester University. She's been entertaining us with fun quarantine activities and reminding us of all upcoming events and deadlines.

Takeover our Story!

We want to showcase your work in union or activities in action! Email Emily at ekofman@wcupa.edu for the opportunity to takeover our Instagram account for a day or two. This is a great way to highlight unique staffing practices, fun events, or building improvements. We're open to whatever! Last semester featured the most incredible takeover from the University of Rochester for their Spring Fest Weekend. We save the takeovers to our highlights, so you can go back to watch them at any time!


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