Here’s what’s up in the Spooniverse, according to our members.

Fostering Community in Your Spoon Chapter During COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted colleges and universities across America, and chances are that your school is one of them. When classes moved online and caused a mass exodus from the UVM campus, our Spoon chapter was left with a very critical question to answer: how do we move forward? How do we not only continue to publish but also retain a sense of community among our contributors, most of which live in different corners of the country? Here are some creative ideas for how you can still forge connections among your chapter during this time. 

Spoon University

Create a chapter playlist and have members contribute their favorite jams. 

Spotify allows you to collaborate and share playlists with one another. You'll get to learn more about the people in your chapter through their music choices and get some good jams while you're at it! 

Gather your favorite recipes and create a recipe book for your chapter. 

What foods could your chapter not live without? If they're that good, they should be written down! Start a Google Doc and have members contribute their favorite recipes. 

Create a pen pal or gift-exchange group. 

This is a great one if you have members of your chapter all over the country. You can send letters to one another, or even small care packages (depending on the size of your chapter). You might want to send seeds, funky chocolate, or fun stickers! 

Meet with your chapter over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. 

If you're a chapter that publishes during the summer (like Vermont), you'll want to keep your members updated and in the loop. Schedule monthly check-ins with your chapter to see how things are going, brainstorm new pitches, and get everyone excited about recruitment. 

Set fun "challenges" for your chapter. 

Have you ever wondered what eating vegan or going zero waste for a week might look like? Have members of your chapter set a challenge and collaborate with one another on an article to share your results. You can also pick a store and give your members the challenges of making a meal for under $5 (or some other increment). What were you able to find, and did anyone successfully stay within the budget? 

Utilize your social media. 

TikTok is wildly popular (why? I don't get it), so now is your time to use it. You can also do Instagram takeovers with your chapter so you can learn more about one another! Create polls, surveys, and alike to keep your followers engaged. 

Keep your plans flexible. 

The reality of COVID-19 is that we don't know what campus is going to look like in the fall. It's best to keep plans for engagement open, but also prioritize the safety of your chapter. Now is the time to start brainstorming events and fun things to do as a chapter, even if social distancing is still required. 

The best thing any chapter can do during this difficult time is to stay positive and (as we say at Spoon-VT) "stay spooooonie."