How Bridgewater Is Staying Connected Over Social Media

“Bridging the Gaps Created by Social Distancing”


Creative Commons

With schools closing for the rest of the semester, the Bridgewater College clubs and organizations are coming up with ways in which to stay connected to members.

Jackie Letaiugyang, Staff Writer

Bridgewater Va. – Following the email sent by Bridgewater College President Dr. David Bushman on March 16 stating that face-to-face classes will be conducted online for the rest of the semester, the BC community began facing the loss of planned events and gatherings and turned to social media to stay connected. 

The MDMS program started an online challenge to keep students entertained. For their first challenge, they requested 300 followers by March 16 for Sam Hamilton, assistant English professor and program director, to shave his beard. The program continued to post challenges on their instagram page for students to participate and engage in. 

“The program is very happy to play a small role in keeping BC students and alumni connected during these trying times,” said one of the managers of the MDMS program’s Instagram account. “We’ve been happy to see so many students, faculty, staff and alums using digital and social media to bridge the gaps created by social distancing.” 

On March 17, students received an email from Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Leslie Frere stating that “Student Life is launching several new programs online.” Students were asked to follow the Student Life Facebook and Instagram page to be able to participate in the online events. 

The Student Life online events include “10 Podcast’s on the Dean’s List,” a social media launch party and a virtual “Dessert with the Dean” that includes recipes released the day before. 

In a live Facebook video that was posted on Wednesday, March 18, Coordinator of Student Engagement and Leadership Sam Schlernitzauer announced the first raffle winner and gave a summary of the upcoming events and how it will all work. 

“Our priority is on engaging students virtually on our social media,” said Schlernitzauer. 

“It’s sad because we’re unable to pull off some of our biggest traditions like battleship and springfest,” said junior and EP Vice President Delilah Prybylski. “I know it’s something the student body looks forward to and I’m sad we couldn’t give people some fun during this pandemic, but I also understand that safety and public health should be the first priority.” 

Cru is a student-run organization that meets weekly for worship nights and other engagements. 

“It’s really hard to deal with the change. We have such a great community for Cru on campus and a lot of events that we’re looking forward to that we’re not able to do anymore,” said sophomore Rachel King. “It’s hard to stay connected with people you don’t see everyday but we’re trying to stay connected via meetings on google hangout, so we can pray together and encourage each other.” 

BC Engage is another club that meets weekly on campus that is led by Chaplain Robbiee Miller. 

“I have heard from seniors who are very disappointed and grieving the loss of their last semester at BC,” said Miller. “I have responded by acknowledging their pain and am doing what I can to keep them engaged with the campus.” 

In making sure that members of the club stay connected, Miller still sends out weekly messages to students who are on the Engage emailing list “for those who wish to view it.” 

“I am also currently exploring other ways to use social media to keep students engaged with spiritual life at BC,” said Miller.