In-person sophomore retreat emphasizes service learning despite limited attendance

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Malcolm Taylor

Sophomores attend the in-person retreat while maintaining social distancing.

Amon Gray, Assistant Editor

Sophomore retreat was held on Oct. 28 in Kovler Gym with a focus on service and community, but many students did not attend due to health concerns.

After being welcomed to the retreat, students attended a diversity, equity and inclusion discussion in Kovler Gym, viewed an art installation and the Breonna Taylor memorial, and completed a small service project.

In addition to maintaining social distancing, students followed numerous safety precautions.

Students came to campus at different times. Half of the advisories were at school from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the other half from 1-4 p.m. During each of these time periods, students were split by advisory and stationed in either Upper or Lower Kovler.  Additionally, poly spots, small rubber circles, were placed six feet apart to help students gauge their distance between each other.

Due to the health risks, 46 sophomores did not attend, and only three out of the 12 senior peer leaders attended. 

However, students who attended the retreat were glad to see their friends face to face, even at a distance.

I liked the activities at the retreat, but I think the heart of the retreat was to give the opportunity for people to see each other in a way that was safe and organized.”

— Graham Robbins

“I liked the activities at the retreat, but I think the heart of the retreat was to give the opportunity for people to see each other in a way that was safe and organized,” sophomore Graham Robbins said.

The DEI discussion was organized and led by the DEI peer facilitators and Priyanka Rupani, director of diversity, equity and inclusion. The discussion focused on service learning and how to show up for one’s community.

“I think any time we talk about service, the goal is for students to do some reflection on where they are in their own life and evaluate how to help others that might need help, and it’s not that we are saving them,” Ana Campos, dean of students, said. “It’s not about being a savior, this is about helping.” 

While touring the campus, students viewed buildings with augmented reality at the new “You Be My Ally” art installation by Jenny Holzer. Others visited the memorial honoring Breonna Taylor made by the kindergarten students in teacher Tracy Aiden’s class and placed at the Masaryk Monument on Midway Plaisance.

Many junior peer leaders attended in the place of senior peer leaders who chose not to attend.

“I think any social interaction is a bit challenging because you do have to social distance, and it’s hard to have the same energy you normally would when you don’t have to think about those types of things, but I don’t think it was too much of a challenge,” Lea Rebollo Baum, a senior peer leader, said.