Midway through the spring semester, Meredith College made the difficult but necessary decision to begin moving on-campus activities to a virtual setting. The transition from in-person experiences to an online format included remote learning for all students as well as working remotely for student workers. While navigating these changes presented unprecedented challenges, it was essential to the College that all student workers maintain their on-campus employment. By guaranteeing student worker employment, Meredith was able to ensure students were provided the funds necessary to maintain financial obligations while continuing their education.
Some student positions transferred seamlessly to a remote setting, while others required new levels of creativity from supervisors and students to make the virtual switch a success. One group that found this opportunity exciting was The Meredith Fund Phonathon Callers. It was quickly determined that while fundraising for special projects such as the student emergency fund was important, what alumnae and friends of the College needed during these uncertain times were friendly voices checking in. Plans were made to transition student callers from landline phones in the Alumnae House to the use of Google Voice numbers with local area codes for student privacy. Phonathon also implemented the use of Google Sheets to allow collaboration on call lists. Without hesitation, Phonathon callers began making calls to offer a listening ear and moral support to those unable to see family, those dealing with a recent loss, or those living alone. When asked to reflect on the experience, many Phonathon callers said that their passion for their job has less to do with the amount of money they raise, and more to do with the connections they make through their conversations with the alumnae on the other end of the line.
Examining the incredible transition of student-held positions on campus is just one example of how the College has remained committed to supporting its students during this difficult time. While it isn’t the same, our students have handled the opportunity to work from home with pride and excitement; proving that “Going Strong” isn’t just a slogan, it’s a lifestyle.