Through the dark times of social distancing and isolation has shone a light: NVU’s sense of community. As students recall the joy of being together on campus, Erin Rossetti, director of student affairs at NVU- Lyndon has created a Pen Pal program connecting students from the two campuses through snail mail.
She’s hoping it’ll help students feel a little less isolated and be a part of something outside of their quarantine hideouts.
One of the original intentions of the program was to help unify the Johnson, Lyndon and NVU-Online communities. With the COVID-19 crisis and looming campus closures, students need their community more than ever.
Rossetti thought of this program when the quarantine started up. “I came up with the idea as I was beginning to teach my kiddos from home and found that it was a fun way for them to connect with classmates and family members,” she said. “I also thought back fondly to when I was in school and had a pen pal for many years.”
She mentioned that it’s nice to get a letter from a friend in the mail. It provides something positive to focus on which may be helpful for some students in these often-lonely times.
The idea is simple: you apply with your name, address and home campus, then you write letters back and forth for however long you wish. Some students may stay communicating through the summer, others may stick with it for many years or even meet up when this episode is over.
Currently, nine students have signed up to participate. One group has been made into a trio to accommodate the odd number.
So far, the program has gotten some positive feedback. Some students have already written their pen pals and are excited for a reply; others have gone back and forth a couple times now.
Sydney Scott, a Johnson based student says she is excited about the program and the possibility of making a new friend and getting a feel for the other side of NVU.
“I signed up because I wanted a way to connect with someone from our sister campus,” said Scott, “As a university, we don’t get many opportunities to visit and get to know the students over at the Lyndon campus, so this is a great way to start!”
Students interested in the program can go to the NVU website to learn more or click the link below to sign up. https://www.northernvermont.edu/about/coronavirus-covid-19/northern-vermont-university-events