Today's Update: Thursday, September 17

September 17, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, You are probably aware that we have dedicated housing being used for students who are either under quarantine (those potentially exposed to someone who has COVID) or in isolation (those who have tested positive). I’ve had the chance over the past couple of weeks to talk with a few groups of students in our quarantine and isolation spaces, and it’s been really inspiring to connect with them. The resilience they are showing and their true dedication to the Buckeye community is simply amazing. 

The most obvious question is “How are we helping students occupy themselves while in quarantine/isolation housing?” The answer, as you might imagine, is quite a bit.  

Certainly, we want them to focus on their studies and coursework. There are, however, enough hours in the day that other activities are welcome, and we have a team led by Tracy Stuck dedicated to keeping them engaged and occupied. 

We are making sure that they are aware of activities and virtual events open to all students, including the Ohio Union Activities Board’s Musical Bingo and Trivia. OUAB is even getting shout-outs from students in quarantine and isolation housing thanking them for putting on the events.  

We are also creating a number of experiences specifically for and limited to those in quarantine and isolation housing. 

When a student checks in, they receive a link and password to a private website. On that site are virtual activities happening that week with on-demand, supportive resources for getting involved and staying well. 

The activities change every week, but this week students were offered a midmorning Yoga Break taught by Rec Sports, an Origami craft demonstration, a low impact barre class and an omelet making demonstration. A new email goes out late each week with new listings and opportunities. 

We are supporting their other wellness needs as well. There is a “Let’s Talk” group session from Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service just for students in quarantine and isolation housing to meet and discuss the challenges they are facing. There are also Wellness Wednesday discussion groups led by Student Life Student Wellness Center.  

We are working with the College of Nursing for a Wellness Partner Program. It assigns an Ohio State Advanced Practice Nurse graduate student to those in quarantine and isolation housing who sign up. The grad students work one-on-one to tailor wellness goals and support related to mental and/or physical well-being.   

There is also a program we call the Buckeye Art of Health and Wellbeing. Since we know that art can help people decrease stress and anxiety, we arranged for canvas, paint and other supplies to be delivered to interested students. They were asked to capture their experience through encouraging and hopeful/ inspiring paintings for students that follow who also will be in the same situation. There might even be an “Art during COVID” show sometime in the future.  

Working to engage our students while they are in quarantine and isolation housing is just another way we help turn an unusual time into something Scarlet and Great! 

Melissa