A few weeks ago, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) students and faculty went to their Tuesday morning classes with stomachs full of powdered donuts, coffee, and juice. Hosting the first of three Donuts with the Dean events, the college encouraged students to enjoy a donut while having the opportunity to connect with the Dean and Associate Dean. This event, which is one of many in CAS this semester, focuses on relationship building and increased engagement within the college.
“The recent literature suggests that college students place a high value on a sense of community and belonging, as well as personal attention,” Interim Dean Amy Shapiro said. “We want CAS to be that environment.”
The college, which offers over 60 academic programs, is the largest college on campus, and leader of many new initiatives, including #CASLife. This new initiative aims to create a greater sense of community and belonging for students and faculty in the college by connecting academics, students, and fun. As part of the exciting schedule, students and faculty will be dancing together every Wednesday at 1:52pm to songs like the Cha-Cha Slide, eating pretzels on National Pretzel Day, sharing smiles on National Share a Smile Day, and much more.
“The Wednesday dance parties are about taking a few minutes away from your academics and your stress to let loose and enjoy some music and dancing,” Dean Shapiro said. “It’s something that we hope more students will look forward to and participate in as the semester continues.”
The #CASLife initiative has also focused on increasing the college’s social media presence, including the launch of a college Snapchat. With a ten-person social media street team made up of students, the college hopes to create excitement both on and off campus.
“We have always focused on academics and making sure we offer our students the excellent education they deserve, but this initiative expands our focus a little,” said Shapiro. “Campus has always been a second home and family to me and I want our students to feel that way too.”