September 25, 2023

BIT by BIT September 25, 2023


Good Afternoon,

We have had an amazing beginning to the academic year and there are many examples that I could share about how we, individually and collectively, have shown up to welcome, and welcome back, students to campus. Instead, I ask that you to take a moment to reflect on how YOU – an important part of our great team—have contributed to our mission of advancing our students’ and staff’s ability to engage, learn and thrive. Just as each of us has our own personal background and experiences, I am sure we will each have an equally unique story to share about how we have supported the start of the academic year. And, it is our differences that make us stronger TOGETHER.

As a reminder, our shared work is grounded in the cultivation of personal and professional skills that nurture a sense of belonging, grow, empathy and compassion for others. We are steadfastly committed to advancing the university’s shared values throughout our operations and interactions. These shared values are: 

  • Excellence and Impact
  • Diversity and Innovation
  • Inclusion and Equity
  • Care and Compassion
  • Integrity and Respect

 We all live out the Student Life and University values differently, but TOGETHER, we strive to empower one another and the students we serve. In Doc’s recent Scarlet and Great Gathering remarks, and in next month’s learning and engagement opportunities, you will notice the theme of “TOGETHER” highlighted repeatedly. We are not alone – it is our connections that make us stronger. We all play a critical role in creating the learning, living and working environments that serve to support our own, and others’ belonging, well-being and success.

A special high five and thank you to Dr. Angie Wellman and Morgan Hammonds for their work in coordinating our upcoming events. I hope to see you at some of the opportunities listed below so that we can continue to engage, learn and thrive, TOGETHER…BIT by BIT.




Tanisha L. Jenkins, PhD
Associate Vice President for Belonging and Inclusion
Office of Student Life
The Ohio State University




The Big Table
Did you know that having social connections can decrease the risk of developing and worsening heart disease, anxiety, high blood pressure, dementia, depression and diabetes? And did you also know that the United States Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, issued an advisory about an epidemic of loneliness and isolation that is facing the country? We are all in this TOGETHER, so join us for a BIG conversation at this year’s BIG Table, October 10 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Ohio Union Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom, where we will dive into small group discussions about the importance of community connections; the danger in our country’s increasing levels of loneliness; how can we work together to re-energize and strengthen a sense of community; and examples we can learn from each other to put into practice now.
Hosted by Ohio State during the Columbus Foundation’s week of other Big Table events, we hope you can join us. This event is open to all: students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends from the community. 
RSVP by 5 p.m. on September 26.

Together in Student Life: Growing Social Connections
Paying attention to, and striving to meet our own needs of connection and belonging as individuals and as Student Life staff, is as important as attending to the needs of the students we serve. Without maintaining our own well-being, it is not possible to support and empower others. Student Life Belonging and Education and Student Life Health and Wellbeing invite you to pause and take some time to nourish yourself on October 10 at 1:30 p.m. in the Ohio Union Cartoon Room for a workshop facilitated by the Ohio State Employee Assistance Program. Together, we will discuss the importance of social connections, reflect on what we might need, and strategize creative ways to care for ourselves and others.
RSVP for this in-person session.

Together in Student Life: Exploring the 4C’s
Being in community and remaining engaged in dialogue with one another is key to our ability to build social connections across Student Life, both with our colleagues and with the students with whom we interact. Student Life Belonging and Education and Student Life Health and Wellbeing invite you to join us on October 10 at 3 p.m. in the Ohio Union Cartoon Room for a participatory workshop facilitated by the Center for Ethics and Human Values. They will introduce a framework for engaging in civil discourse. Through a discussion-based exploration of the “4Cs” (Be Curious, Be Charitable, Be Conscientious, Be Constructive), participants will improve their capacity for engaging in vigorous and respectful discussions about difficult topics despite disagreement. This workshop is open to Student Life staff and GTA’s.
RSVP for this in-person session.



Latinx Heritage Month
Annually, Latinx Heritage Month is recognized and celebrated September through October 15.  Here on campus and in the Central Ohio community, there are a number of events and festivals highlighting the contributions and culture of all Hispanic countries.
Upcoming campus programming and events happening in Columbus.

Festival for Good
The purpose of the annual Festival for Good, which will take place September 30 in Grandview, is to uplift inspiring local businesses that have made social change a key part of their identity and mission. The Festival features Columbus-based social enterprises. These are businesses started by entrepreneurs who want to make a social impact. More than just a part of their business, being leaders of change is why they’re in business.
More Information

Mac and Cheese Festival
The Columbus Mac and Cheese Festival is set for Friday October 6, for a family-friendly evening that will include mac and cheese samples from your favorite Central Ohio restaurants, live entertainment, kid zone activities, raffle prizes and more. Tickets sales support research studies and enhanced the spaces for young patients at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).
Follow this link to learn more or purchase tickets.



Navigating Difficult Conversations
Difficult conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion range from conceptual to conflict resolution. This virtual workshop on September 27 from 3-4:30 p.m., sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, offers staff the opportunity to learn concrete tools and skills to build dialogue toward healing conversations.
Learn more and Register

Recovery Is Spoken Here
The Student Life Student Wellness Center's Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), in partnership with the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD), is excited to offer Recovery is Spoken Here training on September 28 from 2-4 p.m. for our staff. The aim is to foster an environment where students in or seeking recovery feel accepted by their peers, are empowered to live genuinely, feel comfortable asking for help and are celebrated by the Ohio State community. By becoming a Recovery Ally, you are declaring to students in or seeking recovery that you embody these ideals. This two-hour training covers a high level overview of addiction and recovery, addiction and recovery on campus, recovery-friendly language, how to connect students with the CRC and ways to get involved as a Recovery Ally.
RSVP for the Zoom Session

Curtain Call: Combating Performative Allyship in Student Affairs
Do you want to be an ally for inclusion? Do you want to avoid the trap of performative allyship, which is just showing off without taking action? Do you want to learn how to spot and challenge performative allyship in your organization? Do you want to create an action plan for authentic allyship that leads to justice? If yes, then join NASPA IV-E (NASPA membership required) for this interactive discussion on September 29 at 1 p.m., where these questions will be explored.
Meeting link:

Social Identity 101
The first step in the social change process is self-reflection. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Social Identity 101 workshop that is taking place on October 5 at 11:30 a.m. offers staff a guided opportunity to dive deeper into understanding their social identities and privileges. Participants will learn how social identity connects to oppression, debunk the myth of reverse oppression and identify ways in which we navigate away from defensiveness and guilt to leverage our privileges and/or power for advocacy and social change.
RSVP for the Zoom session

Forward Symposium
The Women’s Place will host its 4th annual virtual FORWARD Symposium on October 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The theme for this fall, “THRIVE: Advancing at Every Age,” delves into the multifaceted journey of professional growth and development, catering to individuals of all generations. Whether you're just beginning your career journey or seeking to redefine your path, this symposium offers a wealth of knowledge, tools and insights necessary to thrive in today's diverse and ever-changing professional landscape. This virtual event is free and open to the public.
Stay tuned for updates about registration.



Identifying and Preventing the Spread of Health Misinformation
October is Health Literacy Month! Join OSU Extension Educator Jenny Lobb on October 3 at 11:30 a.m. to learn how to identify and prevent the spread of health misinformation. Together, we’ll explore the U.S. Surgeon General’s Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation and learn how to evaluate health-related content for credibility.
Register or Learn More

Work/Life Balance
Work-life balance often feels like a tug-of-war. There are so many things competing for our time. In this session staff will identify competing interests and ways to prioritize the items that seem to be taking over daily life. Log in to this webinar on October 24 at 11:30 a.m. to learn some tips and strategies for reducing burdens and stressors that can sometimes be overwhelming.
Register or Learn More

Connecting in Columbus
Our hope is to let you know about fun, inexpensive opportunities to get out into the Columbus community. Our city is delightfully diverse, and there is always a lot happening! If you know about opportunities coming up over the next few months – whether a festival, a new kickball team, a free movie screening or tips you think our Student Life community should know about, drop me a note!
For this month, check out Fall Fun in Cbus