Virtual Community Engagement
During this time of coronavirus, members of the Smith College community find themselves scattered far and wide. Most of us are working, teaching, and learning remotely. In spite of social distancing, however, we can maintain social connection, which research shows to be crucial for overall well-being. Although we face uncertainty, we can stay connected. We are Smith.
Virtual Community Engagement Team
The Virtual Community Engagement Team’s purpose is to coordinate and communicate the many community-engagement efforts already underway and those yet to be planned. Currently, E-Digest is the main method of communication. The team can also identify gaps to suggest additional efforts and learn from peer institutions’ strategies and programs.
Key principles guiding us include the following:
- Social connection can happen even with physical distance.
- Different groups need different programs.
- Some programs will be synchronous, while others are asynchronous.
- Right now, many groups need to focus on self-care before they can engage in broader social connection.
- We want to include alumnae whenever possible.
- We acknowledge that first years, transfers, and new staff and faculty have never experienced a semester on campus.
Additional student remote support resources can be found on the Student Affairs website.
Student Support Team led by Baishakhi Taylor
- Tamra Bates
- Matilda Cantwell
- Erin Cohn
- Hannah Danforth
- Raven Fowlkes-Witten
- Esther Mejia
- Dana Olivo
- L'Tanya Richmond
- Alison Schoen
- Stacey Steinbach
Staff Support Team led by Floyd Cheung
- Amy Hunter
- Queen Lanier
- Thomas Lark
- Madelyn Neely
- Maureen Raucher
- Jenny Silver
- Nancy Zigler
Faculty Support Team led by Hélène Visentin
- Darcy Buerkle
- Jennifer DeClue
- Alex Keller
- Kevin Shea
Alumnae Support Team led by Denise Materre
- Toby Davis ’03
- Christie Kennedy
- Beth Raffeld
- Amanda Rivera Lopez
- Marissa Hoechstetter
The Office For Equity & Inclusion has compiled a list of resources to help educate and take other action to actively counter racism in all its forms.
Faculty/Staff Affinity Group Meetings
Library Anti-Racist and Social Justice Resources
No Such Thing as Neutral
To view Jen Malkowski's lecture on racism and technology design from Thinking Through Race, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Daring to Be Hopeful: A Critical Response to the White Supremacist Storming of Our Capitol
For those who were unable to attend Daring to Be Hopeful: A Critical Response to the White Supremacist Storming of Our Capitol, please take a look at the recording of the roundtable event.
Anti-Asian Racism and COVID-19: A Teach-In!
This May 27 webinar on "Anti-Asian Racism and COVID 19: A Teach-In" hosted by PEN America is the eighth in their online series, “Free Speech & the Virtual Campus.”
The N-Word in the Classroom
Centered around one of the most divisive words in the English language, this talk, from Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, highlights the way in which the N-word presents itself, and is presented, in the classroom.
Black History Month Library
A vast collection of work from Black writers.
Surviving and Resisting Hate
Not Your Model Minority: Fighting Anti-Asian Racism and Yellow Peril Rhetoric in COVID Times
A presentation by Jennifer Ho, Professor of Ethnic Studies & Director, Center for the Humanities & the Arts at University of Colorado Boulder and President, Association for Asian American Studies.
Smith #PetsofProfs Pet Photo Album
Meet your new classmates/TAs. These furry friends will be making an appearance on your professors’ Zoom lectures.
Dear Evan Hansen Virtual Choir
“You will be found”—a necessary message for anyone feeling isolated and alone right now.
Video Game Recommendation: Animal Crossing
Take a trip to your own island paradise with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a low-pressure life simulator where you’re free to fill the days however you like: planting trees, fishing, catching butterflies, or staying indoors and decorating your tent.
Cats Playing with Dominoes
The Internet brings together two great video themes: cats and Rube Goldberg machines made of dominos.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Otter Cam
Feeling sad or bored? You “otter” check this out! The Monterey Bay Aquarium sea otter cam gives you a live feed of these mischievous and mustachioed mammals.
Daily Poetry with Tracy K. Smith
Check out The Slowdown for a daily 5-minute dose of poetry, read by Tracy K. Smith, one of the most celebrated poets of our time. She served as the 22nd United States Poet Laureate from 2017 to 2019.
Video: Baby Elephant Playing in the Mud
Video: Indigenous dancers share dances online
COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of pow wows across North America. So indigenous dancers recorded themselves dancing and shared.
20 amazing places you can visit without leaving home
Travel the world from home! See museums, zoos, aquariums, parks and historic monuments
NASA’s media library is completely free
Want to escape into the far reaches of outer space? Look no further! NASA has made their entire media library available.
Livestream: Giant Panda Cam
This is so cute we can't BEAR it: Wolong Grove Panda Yard. Explore.org has many livestream animal cams for you to enjoy!
Video: Dr. Seuss Raps over Dr. Dre Beats - Fox in Socks
Wes Tank raps Dr. Seuss’ classic children's book “Fox in Sox” over Dr. Dre's legendary hip hop beats for “What's the Difference” and “Let Me Ride” with much due respect to the flows and styles of Dr. Dre, Eminem, Xzibit and Snoop Dogg.
Patrick Stewart Reads Shakespeare
Before X-men, before Star Trek: The Next Generation, and way before Star Trek: Picard, Patrick Stewart was a Shakespearean actor. He contributes to the living room performing arts fest by reading a Shakespearean sonnet every day.
Penguins Going on Field Trips
If you thought penguins were cute in their own habitats, wait until you see them exploring aquariums and zoos across the country.
What the World Needs Now
Music by Burt Bacharach, and lyrics by Hal David for Virtual Orchestra.
Cats of Smith College Zoom Meetings Facebook Group
Smith Associate Director for Assessment Minh Ly has curated a Facebook group dedicated to our feline co-workers and their insistence on joining us in every Zoom meeting.
Virtual Garden Tours
Stroll through springtime across the country, and right here on campus.
Free Online Magazines
EBSCO has granted the Smith libraries complimentary access to all titles on the Flipster platform through mid-June. In addition to the nearly 70 titles we already subscribe to, there are over 1,000 additional popular magazine titles now available to you. You can read issues on your computer/tablet, or on your phone with the Flipster app.
Gerbil Art Gallery
One very creative quarantined couple decided to recreate some of their favorite artworks for their pet gerbils in a miniature art gallery
Continually Updated List of Livestreams and Virtual Concerts
Missing your favorite artists? Hoping to catch a unique live show? Billboard.com has a continuously updated list of concerts coming soon to your living room
Video: Hasan From a Distance
Hasan Minaj's comedy commentary show Patriot Act goes virtual! Includes Hasan's cooking tips and book reviews of classic children's books.
Video: Todrick Hall encourages us to dance and clean in ‘masks, gloves, soap, scrubs’
As part of a fundraiser for The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, Todrick Hall put together a dance/song/cleaning experience to inspire us all to mop, sweep and sleep.
Leisure Reading: Online Comics and Graphic Novels
Need your comics fix? The Libraries provide online access to full-text adult comic books & graphic novels through Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels: Volumes I and II.
Weekly Online Meditation
Students, faculty, staff and alumnae are invited to come together online for weekly mindfulness meditation led by Ruth Ozeki and Mary Beth Brooker. Meet on Mondays via Zoom for a simple, relaxed practice of breath- and body-centered meditation, based on Zen forms. The 30-minute period starts with a 10-minute guided meditation, which serves as instruction, followed by a short stretching break and a second period of silent meditation. All levels are welcome, no experience is needed, and you can feel free to join or leave the meeting at any time. Please email email@example.com for the Zoom information.
Surviving the End of the World
This is an 8-week support group for students to navigate the uncertain waters we’re in and build community where we can bring our full selves. It takes the work of Black feminist and activist adrienne maree brown as a jumping-off point for discussion, interactive practice, reflection, and action. Topics will include explorations of internal and group power, how to develop personal practices that support our adaptation, and what it means to hold multiple emotions at the same time. Despair, hope, grief, rage, fear, joy, numbness, depression and more are all welcome. This group will be shaped by the interests and inclinations of its participants, and it will make connecting on Zoom fun. Please join us Tuesdays, 6:30-8pm EST on Zoom, and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
Counseling Service Support Groups
Visit the Counseling Services site for information on weekly online support groups for students. Subjects include dealing with social isolation, skills-based groups, and affinity groups.
Zoom Exhaustion is Real. Here are Six Ways to Find Balance and Stay Connected
How to Change Lives During the Pandemic
5 things college students should include in a plan for their wellness
Five essential things that any wellness plan for college students should address.
How Rituals and Focus Can Turn Isolation Into a Time for Growth
These harrowing times are taking an emotional toll, but there are ways to make this period of self-quarantine not only endurable but rewarding.
Smith COVID-19 Experience Map
The Spatial Analysis Lab is launching the Smith COVID-19 Experience Map—a chance to tell your story in the wake of this pandemic. Share your feelings and observations about the rapidly changing world and how your community is responding. Connect with other Smithies around the world with similar experiences and learn from our differences. This map will become an archive of social distancing tips and tricks, recipes and resources that grounded us during these challenging times. Fill out the survey and see your response appear on the map.
Reporting Harassment as an Asian/Asian American During COVID-19
If you are Asian/Asian American and are experiencing any form of racial harassment, as mild as someone just screaming "Asian" at you and crossing the street, please report it.
If you experience incidents of discrimination or bias at Smith, including online, by another member of our community, please remember that you can use our online reporting tool, Ethicspoint.
Low-Income Student Support Group
Mondays 12:15–1:30 p.m.
April 20–May 4
Facilitated by Michelle Marchese, LICSW. Membership is based on self-identification. Please register with Laurie at email@example.com.
Resources for Survivors
Find resources including hotlines for survivors of sexual violence and domestic violence; resources specific to survivors from native communities; trans peer support; services for survivors with disabilities; safety planning and self-care guides in multiple languages; FAQs about courts and COVID; guidance from advocacy organizations regarding technology resources; information related to shelter care and homelessness; community care; protecting immigrant families; financial relief for vulnerable communities and additional resources.
Pathways to Safety International provides holistic services to the growing American overseas community, including the 80 million Americans traveling abroad annually and the 9 million Americans that live overseas.
Maybe you could use a little extra support right now!
Are you a student who could use a little extra support right now? Would you like to connect with someone at the College who would like to check-in with you to see how things are going, who can answer some questions, or connect you to a support system? A member of the Student Care Team would love to reach out.
Share Your Pandemic Experiences with the COVID-19 Chronicles
The College Archives' new project, the COVID-19 Chronicles, is collecting material that documents individual student responses to the pandemic. You can help by sharing documentation of your personal experiences in the form of personal reflections and stories, journals, zines, scrapbooks, digital images, sound and film recordings, blog posts, and more. For additional details and access to the submission form, visit our website.
Facilities Management Coverage
Facilities Management is currently at minimal essential staffing. Our priority while on campus is cleaning and sanitizing restrooms and high-touch areas. Private offices and classrooms will not be entered. If you have trash/recycling, please leave it outside the door so it can be picked up as soon as we can. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this pandemic crisis.
Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free benefit provided by Smith College to help employees work through life's challenges. The program, offered through e4Health, is a confidential and voluntary counseling referral service provided free of charge to employees and members of their family household.
Ombudsperson Services - Remote Meetings
We are now in a very challenging time for everyone at the college. Many of us will find our work situation to be stressful, and there may be times when we're not sure how best to handle things. The college’s Ombudsperson, Michael Stephens, will continue to be available on Mondays and Wednesdays for confidential workplace counseling via remote Zoom conferencing or telephone. If you feel this could be helpful, please email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Schedule Your Virtual Events in the Virtual Location in 25Live
It’s now possible to schedule virtual meetings and other events by submitting a request for a new "location" in 25Live called Virtual Location. This location option allows you to ‘reserve’ a virtual space for your event so that it can be pushed to your program calendars and/or, if the event is not marked as “private,” the main smith.edu/calendar. See the "Forms and Resources" page on the Events Management Office website for further details.
Accommodating Staff and Faculty with Disabilities
If you are an individual with a disability and find yourself in need of an accommodation, please contact Jenny Silver at email@example.com. Here is a link to the process for requesting disability-related accommodations at Smith. Please also note that Laura Rauscher (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Amy Hunter (email@example.com) serve as the college’s co-ADA and 504 Coordinators and are resources to you as well.
Learning & Development Website Offers Webinars, Online Articles and other Resources
The Learning & Development website has been revised to offer a wide range of webinars, online articles and other resources on a variety of topics including working remotely (with or without kids), Excel basic skills, managing remote meetings, relaxation techniques, resilience and mindfulness. Over the coming weeks Human Resources will add to these resources regularly. Visit the Learning & Development website.
Contingent Staff and Faculty: Get Connected in Spite of Social Distance
Calling all contingent staff and faculty: Do you feel more isolated than ever as a temporary worker at Smith in a time of remote work and online learning? Are you looking for specific ways of being supported through this difficult transition? Are you curious about how other contingent laborers are coping with all of this social distance? Get connected with the contingent staff and faculty network.
Controller's Office COVID-19 Reference Guide
The Controller’s Office staff are available to support you and your department during this unprecedented time. From advancing approvals in Workday to facilitating financial, procurement or payroll processes: we are eager to help. We have compiled many common questions in our reference guide for working remotely
Faculty ZoomPub, Wednesdays
Faculty ZoomPub on Wednesdays from 4–6 p.m. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom invitations.
Student Care Team
Do you know a student who could use a little extra support right now? Would you like to connect them with someone at the college who could check in with them to see how things are going, who can answer some questions or connect them to a support system? A member of the Student Care Team would love to reach out. Nominate students here.
Faculty/Staff: Share Your Pandemic Experiences with the COVID-19 Chronicles
The College Archives’ new project, the COVID-19 Chronicles, is collecting material that documents individual faculty and staff responses to the pandemic. You can help by sharing documentation of your personal experiences in the form of personal reflections and stories, journals, zines, scrapbooks, digital images, sound and film recordings, blog posts, and more. For additional details and access to the submission form, visit our website.
Staff Community Building and De-stressing
The Virtual Community Engagement Team is offering a peer-led group for staff starting in January. This will be an opportunity for staff to learn stress-coping tools, share our challenges and successes, and extend affirming support to one another. Meetings will be held monthly, initially on Zoom, with the hope that we can eventually meet in person. In this group, you can expect to learn, or “get”, something, but it will also offer you a way to give something: your support and encouragement to your peers. Submit registration form.