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Campus SnapshotEPI Supports Campus Wellness with Expressions of Gratitude

During the second half of the spring semester, members of Vassar’s Engaged Pluralism Initiative (EPI) launched three projects that made life a little brighter for students and staff on campus. In late April, they filled more than 225 bags with activity packets and candy and left them at Gordon Commons for students and employees.

“We’re just trying to support the mental and social wellness of the students and staff who are still on campus,” said Candice Lowe Swift, EPI Director and Associate Professor of Anthropology. “Employees, in particular, are on the front lines, and we want to show our gratitude and let them know we honor them.”

(Left to right) EPI’s Cecilia Hoang ’18, Henry Molina ’19 and Candice Lowe Swift and their team organized several projects to make life a little more fun for those who have remained on campus.

On May 1, Lowe Swift, Qualitative Research Associate Henry Molina ’19, and Program Associate Cecilia Hoang ’18 collected rocks and art supplies and sidewalk chalk and left them at Gordon Commons, encouraging those on campus to decorate the rocks and leave their creations in visible locations around the campus.

More recently, EPI created a Gratitude Banner at Gordon Commons and asked those on campus to write notes of thanks and warmth to each other. To express EPI’s support for the students and employees who remained on campus, the staff coordinated a gift card raffle that will treat 46 people to food and beverages at two local establishments, The Crafted Kup and Twisted Soul.

The EPI team gives its thanks to those on campus who contributed to these community-building efforts: the President’s Office, Dining Services, Communications, Facilities Operations, Finance, Office of Alumnae/i Affairs & Development, and the Purchasing Department.

Campus Snapshot” is an ongoing series of vignettes that illustrates how life on campus is evolving during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 students who could not travel to their homes lived on campus for the balance of the Spring Semester. Security officers, custodians and other essential employees continue to venture to campus daily to perform their jobs.