Due to continuing challenges related to COVID 19, Sonoma State University will be continuing to offer some fully virtual, fully in-person and many hybrid programs, events and services in the spring 2022 semester. During this time, Student Involvement will also be supporting in-person and remote events and services, as needed by our Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) and their advisors. Our goal, as always, is to ensure the safety of all our Seawolves, so please know that our Student Involvement staff is here to help you navigate Sonoma County and Sonoma State University Safety Guidelines every step of the way during this pandemic.
Now, more than ever, it's important for us to stay the course and follow all guidelines for on and off campus events that are sponsored by SSU RSOs, Departments and/or programs. Off campus events such as retreats, formals, cocktails, service events, sport club games/matches etc. need to go through Student Involvement Advisors to make sure that we are taking precautions to ensure the safety of all Seawolves. For on campus events, there will be guidelines for all gatherings, safety precautions and providing attendance information to email@example.com to help in contact tracing, should it be needed.
In the spring 2022 semester, we will welcome over 2,000 students to on campus housing and many more to their off campus housing spaces. In the fall 2021 semester, campus hosted approximately 51% of our classes in-person. In the spring 2022 semester, we will be welcoming even more students to live on and around campus as we hope to jump to about 70% of our classes on ground. We need to welcome students back, help them connect, get engaged, and to feel like they are a part of our Seawolf Community. As you know, there are many places and support systems on campus to connect with, from the Residence Halls, classes, CAASE, Associated Students, the HUB and more, but none that offer the myriad of ways to engage than what we have in Student Involvement.
Recognized Student Organization leaders are encouraged to continue planning and meeting with organization members both in-person and virtually. This site provides student leaders with resources and tips on how to best manage your organization virtually, or to provide a welcoming environment for both virtual and in-person members. We will help to provide ideas, encouragement, planning and resources. We are here for you during this time!
We wanted to give you some tools and tips to help you prepare to lead in this hybrid world. We will be in contact with you personally, provide resources online, and we will be hosting opportunities to learn from us and from other student leaders. We have started to create some resources that will be housed on our Student Involvement website and as this is not a complete list, we will add new information as it becomes available. This is not an exhaustive list, merely a starting point for you in the upcoming semester. As questions arise or if you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to email us at Studentinvolvement@sonoma.edu, or stop by our office on the 2nd floor of the Student Center.
-The Office Student Involvement | Division of Student Affairs
During this time period, in-person and virtual events and meetings may continue to occur. RSOs should work with their advisors to keep up on protocol for events and meetings.
- Due to the recent Sonoma County Health Order and the announcement that most classes will be online through February 11, we can host events on campus but you cannot have more than 50 people for an indoor event, and no more than 100 people for an outside event. People also need to wear masks if inside, at all times, other than eating or drinking. If you would like to consult with Student Involvement staff on ways to host your events virtually or to talk through what options you have for events that may have had to be paused, or rescheduled, please email your Student Involvement Advisor so we can work with you Comment end
- Don’t count out the possibility of hosting virtual events. They don’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time to prepare. Be sure to follow our social media channels above and Seawolf Living as all campus programmatic and campus departments are already at work planning virtual/in-person events for the Fall and Spring. If you want to discuss partnership opportunities, get in touch with your Student Involvement Advisor.
- Be sure to follow County and Campus guidelines for in-person events.
- Be sure to take attendance and turn it into firstname.lastname@example.org after your events/meetings
- If in-person and inside a building, all members must wear masks unless eating/drinking, and must try to maintain distance between each other.
- Sanitize the spaces and your hands prior to and during meetings/events, as needed
- If outside, you do not need to wear masks unless you are within 6 feet of others.
- For any in-person events/meetings, and even to get into some classes, events, or office spaces, you will be asked to show your green screen to show you have been vaccinated, have a waiver, and that you have done your wellness screening for that day. You also will need to sign in and/or swipe into the event. Again, this is for contact tracing should we need to do it.
- You may still have some students and club members that are virtual. We also may provide events and meetings both virtually and in person. Try to make sure you are doing what you can to include those students who are trying to participate virtually.
Communication with your members and advisor is critical during this time of hybrid delivery. Organizations are encouraged to use GetInvolved@SSU to message their members, to share events and to help them engage with other RSOs. Organizations should also use this time to ensure that their contact information is accurate on GetInvolved@SSU so students who wish to learn more about their organization are able to contact the appropriate individuals.
● Group me
You might be lost now wondering, “How will I engage with my members during this time?” You are encouraged to consider hosting in-person meetings, as most RSOs were able to do so safely in the fall semester. It is also nice to provide in-person events in order to continue to build a sense of normalcy for your organization(s) and to best prepare you for the rest of the semester and even into spring. Student Involvement strongly recommends you consider a virtual option for your meetings. Adapted from Steven Rogelberg’s “The Surprising Science of Meetings” via UNC Charlotte Connecting Virtually
There are a number of platforms you can utilize to host meetings virtually for free. We recommend Zoom for business as you can use this platform easily with your Sonoma.edu email address. Please note, other platforms like Google Chat and Google Hangout are also options you could utilize as well.
- Test out your technology before the start of the meeting. Work with a friend to test out your meeting platform to make sure everything works.
- Opt for video calling. While not everyone loves the idea of video calls, they increase connection and community. When possible, choose video calling for a more personal approach to staying connected. Note that in cases where reception is bad, you may have to switch off video calling.
- Start each meeting with an icebreaker where everyone gets to share. If there are a lot of participants, consider using the chat features for people to respond and share.
- Stick to set times. Set standard weekly times meetings should take place for consistency. We recommend keeping with the regular times you had prior to going remote.
- Set clear agendas, outcomes, and action items. We recommend using google docs as a way of creating living agendas where people can see updates in real time and items as the meeting goes along. At the end of every meeting, be sure to articulate clear action items and next steps.
- Create new roles and rotate responsibilities. Think about daily and weekly tasks such as taking meeting minutes and rotate these amongst members to stay engaged. Additionally, consider forming new and creative subcommittees that can work on projects in more intimate chat groups.
- Get buy-in. Make sure to create space for allowing others to provide thoughts and input. It’s important to ask things like “what do people think of this?” or “does anyone have anything to add?” Be comfortable with some silence on the other end as some people may need additional time to think.
- Meet one-on-one. If you are in a leadership role within your organization, consider scheduling one-on-one check-ins with other Executive Board leaders and members. This is a great way to maintain connection and be able to accommodate the different needs of your group.
Centralize organization documents. Consider Google docs, GetInvolved@SSU, Slack, or another project management for being able to share information with your organization in a timely, adjustable fashion.
Consider a communication channel and set expectations. Consider using Google chat, What’s App, or even Facebook messenger as a centralized channel for the organization to communicate. This can help keep everyone up-to-date and help avoid the confusing text message chain.
Create a “virtual watercooler”.
While ensuring you continue to meet the mission and purpose of your organization is important, it’s also important to recognize that much of what your organization does is social, connecting students to one another. Even in a virtual environment, there are lots of ways to help people connect informally and socially. Here are some ideas:
● Host a daily check-in or kick-off for members. This may be focused on organization-related items, or an opportunity to just wish everyone a great day!
● Host virtual office hours outside of meetings for more personal connections and conversations.
● Create a regular newsletter. There are a number of great resources such as Constant Contact and MailChimp that allow you to create free electronic newsletters. This can be a great way to keep members up-to-date with the activities of the organization. Consider adding trivia questions or fun challenges to make the newsletter more interactive.
Utilize marketing resources such as:
● Canva for posters, short videos, Instagram posts
● Piktochart for posters
● Repost (to repost others Instagrams)
● Seawolf Living for sharing your events or meetings with the campus community
● Powtoons for short cartoon videos
● Crello for animated Instagram posts
● Through the Youth Educational Services
● Knitting hats for NICU babies, Homeless Community, etc
● Making face masks for those working in the frontlines
● Cleaning up trash on hikes and posting about it electronically
● Writing letters to folks in Care Facilities, in Prisons, In the armed service, etc.
● Virtual Fundraising Campaigns for Local Organizations in need of resources/funding
● Learn Language online (ex: Duo Lingo)
● Cooking Lessons Online
● Become a naturalist
● Spirit Weeks
● Virtual Open Mics
● Share your crafting on:
● Learn an Instrument
● Online religious services or Bible studies
● Netflix watch parties
● Kast Watch Parties
● Weekly Zoom/Google Hangout lunches
● Animal Crossing- Visit other islands
● Attempt to cook the same same recipe and post online
● Google Boredom Busters - What to do when you are bored