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Connecting Students in the Residence Halls During COVID-19

Students wearing masks and standing in front of a TV

For students choosing to live on campus, the benefits of having a sense of community allow students to build a network of connections and lifelong friends. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, making those connections can be challenging. While social distancing is one of the main factors in reducing the spread of COVID-19, implementing this can often make students feel isolated and lonely.

One resident assistant hopes to combat that feeling by connecting students through the video game series, Just Dance. Jacob Sammon, an RA in Daum Residence Hall, said his residents started playing Just Dance one evening in the floor lounges. “One of my residents had a Nintendo Wii and brought it into the lounge, accompanied by a TV, and invited fellow floor members to join him in on the fun,” said Sammon. Masks are required of all residents and only a certain number of students can dance at a time to ensure social distancing. “Students would swap in and out of watching and participating whenever someone got tired, so there were never too many people in one space that would make it difficult to regulate COVID-19 precaution,” Sammon said.

It has been great to see connections being made between students during their time on campus, even in the middle of a pandemic. - Jacob Sammon, resident assistant, Daum Residence Hall

This event started out rather informally and gained traction through the floor’s regular communication that Sammon sends and a group chat. Soon, students from other floors started attending. Sammon says he’s seen a great impact that something simple has had on students during this time. “It really helped to establish connections between the residents and get some physical activity in. It has been great to see connections being made between students during their time on campus, even in the middle of a pandemic.”