By Scott Hannan
Movie nights, trivia nights, concerts, and reading marathons. All these events, and more, are still a staple of student life even while classes are online. This semester, Malcom Morgan of the Student Life office has worked extra hard to maintain a student community among the graduate and undergraduate students. Traditionally, the graduate and undergraduate students were treated as separate groups. Malcom’s influence has been to bring all Johnnies together, no matter their program.
“I began my job believing that they were one and the same and was later informed that they were a bit different and traditionally were separate. I moved forward being more intentional with programming more mature events that were welcoming for all students in all programs.”
He added, “when planning events, I always strive to make them inclusive especially for graduate students. Additional cultural programming was added last year like trips to the Lensic, the glass blowing event (student driven, student life supported), collegium, the winter dinner and various others.” Many of these events are a direct result of student feedback. Current students can affect the selection of available events by filling out regular surveys that Malcom distributes, or by speaking with him personally.
Thanks to Malcom’s hard work, the semester’s events have been a success. Recently, a dinner for the graduate students was held online with about 20 participants sharing an evening and their food together. Every graduate student was reimbursed up to $20 for any food they bought to participate in the event. Other events have gone well. Two events stand out the most for Malcom.
“I have two inclusive events that turned out great. The first was the Halloween Bash for all students and the Murder Mystery Swing Dance.”
Moving forward, despite the uncertainty regarding the severity of the COVID-19 virus and the extent of state-mandated practices, Malcom and his office continue to approach student events and graduate student involvement with the same fervor.
“I intend to continue fostering the community by engaging the graduate students with events that are relevant to them, their studies, and additional interests. I also want to continue making the graduate students a part of the community and not feel as if they are separate from or different from the undergraduate program in regard to community. The key is to be intentional with programming and ensure it is welcoming for all students.”