House heads and faculty are engaging their dorm communities in both synchronous and asynchronous ways as boarding students learn remotely during this phase of hybrid learning. In Robbins House, dorm faculty hold weekly drop-in sessions at various times to accommodate time zones. They are also hosting events such as Zoom Jeopardy! games or Netflix watch parties.
In September, each new student was paired with a returning student in their grade or the grade above. Then these pairs meet others over Zoom to increase their network of support in the dorm community.
“It has gone so well in Robbins that almost all of the mentors and mentees have made it a weekly occurrence to have a get-together and hang out virtually over the weekend,” said house head Nicole Hall.
The housemates use Google Earth to pin their locations, share photos and post messages to their housemates. They also made a VidHug video introducing themselves and naming their favorite quarantine hobby. In October, Robbins hosted a Halloween costume contest and students submitted pictures of themselves in costumes, with some doing group costumes. Then on Halloween, they Zoomed together to hear the costume winners.
Student dorm outreach continues with student writing tutors, boarding council members and Individual Student Support (ISS) members. “It’s so important that our boarding students feel loved and missed,” said Hall. “I just love that they are living all around the world and yet they find ways to coordinate and create things together.”