W&L’s Office of Student Affairs Gets Outside for ‘Meet and Greet the Deans’ At these events, Student Affairs deans set up tables outside Elrod Commons for 90-minute afternoon sessions. Students are invited to stop, chat, take a treat and snag some W&L apparel.
On March 1, Washington and Lee University’s Office of Student Affairs presented a “Meet and Greet the Deans” event, the third in an informal series. Three more of these events are planned before the end of the academic year. The deans set up tables with free apparel and snacks outside Elrod Commons around midday for the 90-minute sessions.
For the March 1 event, participants included Sidney Evans, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students; Tamara Futrell, dean for diversity, inclusion and student engagement; and Megan Hobbs, associate dean of students. At the latest event, the deans shared free, individually wrapped cookies from W&L catering and a offered a collection of free W&L swag, including t-shirts, stadium cups, stickers and key chains.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced typical in-person interactions for everyone on campus. This series illustrates one of Student Affairs’ innovative approaches to informally engaging with students.
“At these events, I’ve met first-year students, talked with athletes about their most recent competition and listened to a student share their upcoming midterm schedule,” Evans said. “For me, it is a reminder of what W&L is all about: community and those one-on-one connections.”
While the “meet and greet” sessions are not specifically designed for any particular topic, Hobbs said that students take time to stop and discuss all kinds of issues.
“The events are not intentionally hosted to be a space for a detailed discussion about campus issues, but at times they can be,” Hobbs said. “The events are meant to bring our staff outside and into a location where we can be visible to the students. The interactions are casual as we meet students in passing as they go about their day.”
Weather permitting, similar events are planned for March 30 and April 15. Deans invite the entire student body to stop by, say hello and gather some goodies.
“These are wonderful opportunities for the Student Affairs deans to get outside and see students in person. It brightens our day, and we hope it brightens theirs,” said Evans. “Some students don’t take anything from the table, some take a cookie, while others are excited about the W&L swag. All of them are appreciative. I hope they know how much fun it is for us.”