This year, as Northwestern undergraduates populate campus following a winter break unlike any other, it is more than frigid Chicago weather keeping students indoors.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all students are completing a two-week modified Wildcat Wellness quarantine, meaning an inordinate amount of time in their rooms and residences. While students may be sequestered, there is a plethora of virtual engagement experiences to pass the time.
As the University looked forward to welcoming students to campus — many for the first time — a special effort dubbed “Winter Welcome” was planned to help students connect with each other, campus and the surrounding communities of Evanston and Chicago while fostering Northwestern pride.
“In some ways, all students coming to campus now are new because daily routines and physical spaces are different for those who are returning,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Julie Payne-Kirchmeier. “With a unique Winter Quarter ahead, we’ve prepared a Winter Welcome that supports students as they settle into a new year with new opportunities.”
Northwestern Student Affairs has curated and created an extensive calendar to support students both on and off campus, with programs and activities broken down into four categories; Social & Connections, Navigating Campus, Personal Wellness and Northwestern Affinity. While the vast majority of calendar entries are virtual, there will be opportunities to get outdoors on campus as well.
You can start the day with a workout or guided meditation, join a registered student organization at the virtual fair or contribute to a conversation about community engagement in the era of COVID-19 with the Center for Civic Engagement. There are many asynchronous activities like tuning in to numerous podcasts, go to an online exhibit about the 1968 student takeover of the Northwestern Bursar’s Office, or receiving engagement pack materials to relax, paint a mini rock, make a body scrub and much more.
More information is on the Wildcat Wellness website and each student has a daily dashboard on Canvas.