COVID cases remain low on campus. We currently have one active case within our campus community and currently have 14 community members in quarantine, only one of which is in an on-campus quarantine space.
Student On-Campus Employment and Work-Study Jobs: I have been hearing from a number of students about challenges COVID is presenting for students with on-campus jobs, including work-study positions. I talked to Dean Alex Miller over the weekend and it seems like a good moment to take a fresh look at on-campus student employment across campus.
Knowlton Center Director Hank Malin and I started talking about the need for a more coordinated on-campus student employment program last year, but it got delayed by COVID. Lots of students have on-campus work positions and these should be a positive part of your Denison experience. In addition to providing income, these positions should give students a chance to develop meaningful relationships with staff and faculty. On-campus employment should also give students work experience that helps students compete for internships, jobs, and graduate programs. Finally, we should have some way for students to get help when a position is not going well.
Listening to students, it's clear that we can make the experiences more positive and impactful. Dean Alex Miller and I have asked Melanie Murphy from the Knowlton Center to put together a group of students and staff to examine our current on-campus positions both what is working and what needs to be changed. The goal will be to create a more organized and systematic program at Denison. Dean Alex Miller is also going to be involved.
If any students want to be involved and/or have a supervisor who you would recommend be on the committee, please contact Melanie Murphy. My hope is to develop a proposal this semester and have something up and running next semester.
Areas of Priority: We continue to focus on three areas:
- Making sure everyone is following our community guidelines. Generally, this is going well, but we need to continue to focus on weekend nights and ensuring mask wearing and physical distancing are consistently adhered to;
Developing ways for students to socialize in one another's residential halls rooms. This planning is going well and we will have a process to share later this week. To make this possible, we are going to increase testing on campus; and
Continuing to focus on expanding co-curricular activities and intramural sports and other social options.
Communication: Based on feedback from members of our community, I am going to continue to write emails to the community twice a week.