RA Alumni "Monday Night Meetings" make a comeback!
We chatted with Nadia, BA. ' 05 about a fun initiative that a few alumni are using to connect with one another during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are Monday evening meetings?
Monday evenings were weekly time set aside for residence life teams to hold staff meetings. As Residence Assistants (RAs) and Residence Managers (RMs) we have numerous memories of meetings going long into the night, often ending after 10 pm. If you had enough energy in you, you would phone up a friend and schedule to meet at Brass Taps to share what happened at your meeting over appies. When another RA and I lived together we often had Sunday Night Meetings, we were just accustomed to gather at night and meet about the week that passed and the week ahead!
Can you tell us more about the logistics?
As most of us continue to work within student services we use Zoom to organize our chats. Most weeks we have up to 6 participants, many of us live in the GTA. I started the first meeting through a "formal" email invitation in the style of our old meeting agendas. Now there is a light format to our calls, we check in with each other and share peaks- things that are going great, pits- not so great, and pats on the back- to each other or someone in our life. Some members facilitate ice breaker games, and there's always food present so we show off our snacks to each other and pretend to share virtually.
What inspired you to have these meetings?
It started as a way to check in with how people were doing as the physical isolation began. I wanted to provide some joy, humour and a positive memory recall. It was fun for me to exercise my RA skills, and to check on my fellow RAs :). We are a group of people so used to being around other people, supporting others in the work that we do, leading teams and being a part of teams- and then as a friend group, so accustomed to meeting regularly for meals, and hangouts... for all that to stop, has been hard for some of us. I was calling people but it wasn't enough, a fellow Gryphon Jen, B.Sc. '04, loves to video chat with me- it makes it more personal. So I thought, maybe doing a video hangout could make it a more intimate check in.
Any favourite moments of these meetings so far to share?
We share much needed laughs, but also comfort each other. Sometimes we help explain the COVID news to each other, and solutions for things to do. We recently had a fun scandalous chat that cannot be printed about! hahaha A few weeks ago we had a show and tell, and everyone showed off an item in their home that they are proud of. Many times we reminisce about our time at Guelph.
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