Inspired by theSkimm, longer than the E-announcements, created with your short attention span in mind.
By Jaimee Hood
Re: Missing intentional community :/
It has officially been two months since the last “normal day” of on-campus activity. Although Bethel culture has drawn criticism in the past for its sometimes-cheesy buzzwords and cliches, even the most beyond-the-bubble would admit there are some things—and people—they miss.
Ultimately, in-person connection is impossible to replicate in a digital format. But program and ministry leaders at Bethel have created a few opportunities for students to engage with their community at an appropriate distance.
For example, although we can’t meet in Benson for Chapel three times a week, the Office of Christian Formation and Church Relation (CFCR) has put together a series of podcasts and videos that focus on sharing community member stories and encouragement in order to foster spiritual growth. Bethel’s United Worship team also updates their Spotify playlist weekly so you can still get your Vespers fix.
If the idea of digital networking freaks you out, you may have an opportunity to practice— and you won’t have to shake any hands. The Bethel Student Veterans of America will meet online May 14 at 4 p.m. Guest speaker Dave Broza will lead a seminar on how to maximize LinkedIn, a key tool in finding a job, networking and professional development. If you’re not a student veteran, you can always contact the Office of Career Development and Calling to set up an appointment.
On May 13 the United Cultures of Bethel will present the virtual Celebration of Culture. The celebration will feature videos submitted by students to showcase their cultural identities, including art, dance, food, music and more. Check Wednesday’s e-announcements for the Zoom meeting link.
And, hey, this could be a great time to make a new friend, too—reach out to that one person you’ve had a friend crush on since freshman year. See what’s up. Maybe instead of the standard “thanks for your post!” at the end of your Moodle discussion forum reply, ask your classmate if they would like to grab virtual coffee. For bonus points, change your background to a greenscreen Royal Grounds and create some ambiance by intermittently turning on a high-speed blender.
When your great-great-great-grandchildren are taking their AP 21st century exam, what do you think some of their essay topics will be? Although we’re only twenty years in, climate change and meme culture are just a couple strong contenders.
Even if it doesn’t get an essay, the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly have a few multiple-choice questions. As it has been pointed out time and time again, these are unprecedented circumstances that have changed many aspects of our daily lives.
Beyond the history books, the Bethel University Library is creating a time capsule of sorts for future generations of students, teachers etc. to know what was going on at the time of the pandemic. And they want you to contribute.
The library has already added a few artifacts including Clarion articles, official Bethel announcements and podcasts. Community members are encouraged to submit writing, art, music, photos or anything else that documents your experience at this time.
And just for the class of 2020…
Recognizing servant leaders
Each year a handful of Bethel students are presented with the Servant Leadership Award, an opportunity to celebrate students who exemplify the core values of Christian maturity in scholarship, leadership and service. Students are nominated in early March by the Bethel community. The following students “have shown remarkable leadership, great servant hearts, and… a strong understanding of what it means to serve as Jesus did,” said the CFCR (who presents the award). The recipients are as follows:
- Maddie Christy: “I have been lucky to be able to engage in leadership and service roles on and off campus pretty regularly in the last few years. On campus that has looked like participating in and leading missions trips and being an RA. Off-campus that has looked like volunteering at a Christian hostel, coaching Girls on the Run, and volunteering at a local garden.”
- Cassandra Dixon: “Off campus, I engage with my community by leading the youth group at my church, volunteering at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and Urban Ventures, a non project organization that promotes community growth and empowerment. On campus, I’m an Act Six lead scholar, Pre-Medical Club leader and president of the Student Veterans of America Chapter. In each role, It is my goal to serve as Christ served (and continues to serve) humanity—rooted in humility and advocacy.”
- Jake Marsh
- Koressa Weems: “I love engaging with others, so it wasn’t hard to start joining in on different activities on campus. Bethel Volleyball is one of the reasons I value the community at Bethel. They started the pace for getting me involved in my community. I have really developed a passion for serving others when I was introduced to my community engagement site, Hope Avenue. At Hope Avenue, a group of Bethel nursing students provide foot care to the homeless. It was such a humbling experience and I kept feeling this urge to go back every Sunday. I love being a part of Hope Avenue’s community and serving in any way I could. The people there became like family.”