“All I needed to do a Griffin Swoop-In was a friendly smile, a listening ear, and a desire to help our students feel at home on the Westminster campus,” said one volunteer for a new program, Griffin Swoop-ins.
“At Westminster College we take great pride in connecting with our students,” said Mark Ferne, Associate Provost for Student Development. While faculty and staff make those connections during their daily activities, this year, faculty and staff reached out to students where they live—in the residence halls.
Twenty four Westminster faculty and staff, with Westminster President Dr. Brian and his wife, Debi, visited students in the residence halls in the evening of November 11 to show interest in their personal success, to listen to them and address any of their concerns, and to connect and interact with students outside of the classroom. Ferne added that “We further hoped to reach out to those students who are unfamiliar with or whom otherwise might not seek out the resources available on campus.”
The volunteers partnered up with Resident Advisors who escorted them to the halls. Armed with homemade chocolate chip cookies, the visitors spent an hour talking with students and hearing their feedback on life at Westminster and offering some counsel on getting involved. These weren’t “cold calls” – the students were expecting these visitors.
“Our volunteers really enjoyed meeting students outside of the usual settings and seeing where our students are living,” said Aimee Frost, director of residence life. “The comments from the RAs and the students tell us that this is a valuable outreach program and the students really appreciated getting to know some faculty and staff better. We definitely will continue to ‘swoop in’ again next year.”