Highlighting the helpers: Student newsletters for pandemic times at Carlow

As the makers of a newsletter, we’d like to shout-out another newsletter — actually three of them.

Carlow University RAs Michaela Pry, Emma Wilson, and Brooke Gallagher are using newsletters they created to buoy students during the pandemic. This includes a number who were unable to return home and who remain in a university residence hall now. As many as 50 Carlow students were sheltering in place on campus in recent weeks. That number has since dropped.

Michaela, Emma, and Brooke weren’t among those who stayed behind, but they have continued to create the newsletters for the students on their respective floors of the dorm — some still living there.

The newsletters, screencapped above, are packed with coronavirus updates and tips, but also Netflix recommendations, microwave-specific recipes, and more.

“I meant for my newsletter to be uplifting and inspirational as well as a distraction to the craziness happening in the world,” Michaela, a sophomore nursing major, said in quotes provided by Drew Wilson, Carlow’s director of media relations.

Emma, a senior respiratory care major, added: “I understand that this is a very challenging time for everyone, not only my residents, but especially for those who are not able to go home and are confined to their dorm room. (…) I also encouraged my residents to get creative with their time by engaging in unique and productive outlets, to help to maintain a healthy mental state.”

And Brooke, another sophomore nursing major, said: “I feel as though there is a lot of information circulating, some accurate and some not, resulting in some mixed feelings towards this pandemic. I wanted the girls to know and understand that it is okay to worry, but to just remember to be safe and healthy while taking precautions.”

Keith Cerroni, director of residence life at Carlow, said while RAs must do newsletters of some kind, “they have total autonomy over them, and the content will continue to be what they are inspired to create for their specific floor community.”

The newsletters will continue weekly through the rest of the semester. Here’s more info about the three and here’s a look at their work — Brooke’s newsletter, Emma’s newsletter, and Michaela’s newsletter. Our kudos to these students on their tremendous work.

P.S. Want to lend a hand? Here’s our guide to how you can help your neighbors. Know a helper we should spotlight in our Highlighting the Helpers series? Let us know by emailing hello@theincline.com.

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