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Your Campus Community During COVID-19

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Did you see this on The Chronicle’s site?

Among respondents, 88 percent expected declines in enrollment and 86 percent expected drops in tuition revenue. In addition to short-term financial worries, 66 percent were worried about declines in fund raising.

The causes for this are many – COVID-19 leads the way, but let’s be honest, the shift from “campus life” to “virtual life” hasn’t been all that smooth.

And as much as come want to believe COVID-19 is behind us and we’re about to “return to normal,” some of your students, faculty and staff are going to want to stay off campus and away from crowds for the foreseeable future.

Building Community Virtually

I have been watching what colleges and universities are doing to help maintain the ‘campus experience’ virtually, and would like to share some of the examples that caught my eye.

ASULive: Live Streaming Entertainment from Arizona State University

Forgive me for starting off with my alma mater – #GoDevils – but since I worked at ASU Public Events when I was an undergrad, this place has a special spot in my heart.

ASULive is just one of many virtual offerings from the school.  And what I like about it is that it is exclusive for the ASU Community.

Why do I like the exclusivity?  

Well, there are a lot of other virtual events open to the public from ASU, so the exclusivity of this program sends a clear message to students, faculty and staff that the institution is doing something special for you.

And that speaks to unique value. That helps develop loyalty.  And that helps those that aren’t part of the Community to decide it’s time to join the Community.

The concerts will be produced and live-streamed exclusively to the ASU Community and will include a Q&A session following the performance.

Student Clubs: Dickinson College Shines

Colleges and universities speak with great pride of the student clubs on their campuses – and Dickinson’s Division of Student Life took charge and helped the clubs go virtual.

From Student Senate to Sports Clubs, and beyond – Dickinson has since moved on to using Twitch for live events.  (Twitch has set up a section of its site for students – check it out here.)

 

Loyola University Maryland: Free Webinar Series Unites Community

Right down the road from me in Baltimore, Loyola University Maryland’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship has joined together with Mindgrub, a Baltimore-based App Developer, the Baltimore Small Business Support Fund, and the Baltimore Development Corporation Technical Assistance Network to present webinars for small businesses on how to navigate social media.

What a great way to provide value to students, faculty and staff with that entrepreneurial spirit, but a great way to reach out into the community to build awareness, interest and support in your institution.

Engaging Alumni and Donors with a Virtual Book Club at UMBC

Looking for ways to engage your alumni and donors?  Then check out the UMBC Virtual Book Club.

This Club is using private forums for their discussions – but why not add a video conferencing element with Zoom or WebEx so people can meet and socialize?

Virtual Fundraising Events Brings Everyone Together

With a little creativity, you can turn the traditional fundraising event into a virtual fundraising event – from walk-a-thons and fun runs, to car wash-a-thons and more.  For some great ideas. check this out.

Virtual Happy Hour, Film Festivals

Sure, we have Netflix and Hulu and a whole lot of streaming options while at home – but let’s get creative and make entertainment a group activity again.

Film festivals, happy hours and dance parties are great ways to bring together your entire community.

So, hopefully this information got the juices flowing and gave you some new ways to get back out in-front of your prospective students, current students, alumni and donors, faculty and staff – now go remind them why your institution is an important part of their lives.

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