Small Campus Feel
Air Date: April 5, 2021
#4 Small Campus Feel
April 5, 2021
0:00 Kelly Gallagher-Mackay, Assistant Professor, Law and Society
11:34 Greg Edgar, Brantford Campus Ambassador, Game Design and Development student
Thank you to Serena Austin, One Market Research Assistant, Melissa Weaver for graphics, and Nicole Morgan for campus promotion. Music by Scott Holmes. We are grateful for the financial support from the Senior Executive Office.
Bruce Gillespie 0:02
Welcome to One Market, keeping the Laurier Brantford community connected. I’m Bruce Gillespie. On this episode, we talked to the new coordinator of the Law and Society program, and hear about her research about how student learning has been affected by the pandemic. Then, we hear from a student ambassador about what it’s been like conducting virtual campus tours and interacting with prospective students remotely. And finally, we check in with the manager of the Student Wellness Center, who tells us about how they’ve adapted their services during the past year, and launched new ones like the Positive Puppy Hour. All that and more on this episode of One Market.
Our first guest is Kelly Gallagher-Mackay, the new coordinator of the Law and Society program here at Laurier Brantford. She’s currently doing research about the effects of the pandemic on student learning at the elementary and high school levels. So, naturally, we wanted to find out more. I started by asking her how she became involved in this work.
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 1:03
My background is in education policy, and I am a professor in the Law and Society program. So, I do work on, actually, inequality in education most of the time. Which has gotten me deeply interested in the question of what data do we have in our, especially Ontario’s education system, to understand educational opportunities and lack thereof in our system? And, so I was already quite deeply involved in trying to get my fingers deep into the data on schooling in Ontario. When COVID came along, as you know, there were enormous changes in the way we’ve done schooling in the province. First of all, there were system wide shutdowns, and at peak in COVID 1.5 billion kids all over the world were out of school last spring. And so, there was this three month closure. And that raised a whole lot of questions. What happened to kids? Did they learn anything? How, how is their well being?
And then, this year, as we’ve gone back, there’s been two conversations that have been happening about schools. The loudest conversation has been about school safety. And obviously, that’s a really, really important conversation, but it’s not the one I was part of. The other conversation is about what’s happening to students’ learning with all of these rapidly changing circumstances. And, you know, there’s a whole body of education research around what students know, and what they don’t know, and how can we tell? And so, I thought we ought to be able to learn a little bit about, you know, how are our students doing this year compared to previous years? What’s happening in terms of catch up and supports if students need it? And we have a great big data hole in Ontario. So, we know much less than you’d think about what’s going on with student learning. And I’ve been working with school board researchers mostly, to try and help pull together some data on what we know about how kids have been affected by the pandemic.
Bruce Gillespie 3:35
So, is the Ontario gap unusual in terms of Canadian context? Or is this a Canadian wide issue that there’s this whole missing?
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 3:42
It’s a Canada wide issue. There is differences, I would say Ontario is behind B.C. and the Maritimes. And actually falls short of the UNESCO data collection standards for, you know, low and middle income countries. We have pathetic data in Ontario, it usually takes about two years till you can know quite basic things about our system. But, I guess that’s based on the idea that nothing really changes much in schooling.
Bruce Gillespie 4:14
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 4:14
With the pandemic coming along that assumption is even more problematic than usual.
Bruce Gillespie 4:20
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 4:21
So, yeah, no, it’s quite bad. So, I’m sure none of the students have, no students who came through Ontario have fond memories of EQAO, which is the provincial test of literacy and numeracy offered in a couple of years. But, a decision was made that we were going to cancel province wide testing for last year and this year. So, being able to see how is student achievement doing relative to past years, we can’t do that in Ontario. We also don’t have basic data around crazy things like attendance, which is probably the single most powerful predictor of whether students are likely to graduate in the long run. Attendance matters way more than we think it does. And that’s a good thing for our university students to know too. So, we don’t have some of those, kind of, core process pieces. We don’t have province wide data on how many students are learning online versus in person. Really, really profound differences. Everything is sort of spread out across 72 school boards, and there isn’t a province wide picture.
Bruce Gillespie 5:40
Based on your understanding of the research, which is obviously much different than my understanding, is there reason to be concerned that because of this sort of mishmash way that students have learned over the past 12 months, that some some of them will be falling behind?
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 5:55
Yes, I think there is reason to be concerned about student achievement and learning in the last disrupted two years. I think there’s two concerns. One is that achievement overall, this year is behind where it would be on average. If we look at international studies, this is what they tell us. There’s large scale studies available from the UK, from the US, from Netherlands, from Belgium, from Switzerland, and I did a review of all those large scale assessment research. And what it tells us is, on average, kids are two to three months behind where they’d be at this time. And more, perhaps even more importantly, we’ve seen pretty big gaps growing between relatively disadvantaged students and other students. And that makes it really problematic that we don’t have an educational recovery plan.
Bruce Gillespie 6:55
Right, because if we feel confident that the kids are actually falling behind, and some kids more than others, then the next question is, how do we get everybody back on track?
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 7:03
Yeah. And I sometimes worry that governments are in a classic position called no data, no problem, no solution. Not collecting our data, I feel concerned that we are avoiding looking at the risks to students’ educational futures that come with disruptive education. And I’m not trying to say that we had a choice about it. I think we did have to do what we did. But, we do need to reckon with what’s happening. And if you look at the US, they’ve just committed to spending $60 billion. That would be $6 billion for the Canadian population on educational recovery. If you look at the UK, they’re spending at least $1 billion on educational catch up for students, and we just have no plan.
Bruce Gillespie 8:02
What do those international plans look like? I’m just trying to sort of visualize what catch up, like, are we talking summer school?
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 8:07
Yeah, summer school, tutoring, individual remedial supports, in some cases, maybe smaller classes. It’s still being developed. This is a very fast moving world. But, there are pieces in the research that would help us think through what would be effective parts of a recovery plan.
Bruce Gillespie 8:31
And so, what are you hoping to find out through the work you’re doing now? I mean, if the information you would ideally want is not available? What are you, sort of, working to get instead?
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 8:40
Well, I think because I’m working with school boards and school boards are really important in Ontario, because they’re the part of the system which has student data, right? So, I’m working with a group of 11 school boards, and we are trying to get a picture, mostly urban school boards. We’re trying to get a picture of some of the big changes that the pandemic has had on a bunch of key parts of schooling, key schooling outcomes. So attendance, graduation, who got devices, who didn’t. Who’s applying to post-secondary, who isn’t. University applications seem to be going up, college applications seem to be going down. That, again, probably mirrors what we know about socioeconomic gaps. So, we’re trying to pull together the pieces of data, such as they are, for at least about half the province in terms of the number of students, if not the number of school boards.
And we’re hoping to try and provoke public conversations about what it all means and help people monitor places where we may want to take action to provide support to students to avoid long-term harms. Because, as I think maybe your listeners know, education is one of the number one determinants of long-term health. It’s one of the number one predictors of whether or not people are going to engage in active citizenship, from voting to volunteering. And it’s very closely associated with lifetime earnings. Every additional year of schooling people experience tends to lead to about an 8% increase in lifetime earnings on average, internationally. And so, as we see kids falling a third of the year behind. We have a lot to worry about in terms of whether, you know, what is their long term contribution to our country? Will there be an impact for this cohort of students? And also, you know, how are they doing? How are they feeling? Will they have the confidence they need to get themselves through the system, all the way through? Let’s make sure these dips in achievement are temporary, and that any gaps that emerge, which are very foreseeable, that we have an active plan, to close.
Bruce Gillespie 11:22
Kelly, that sounds like really timely, invaluable research. Thank you so much for telling us about it today.
Kelly Gallagher-Mackay 11:27
I’m really happy to have a chance to be on One Market and be part of the Laurier community.
Bruce Gillespie 11:34
Our next guest is Greg Edgar, who is a fourth-year Game Design and Development student, but also one of our campus ambassadors; the folks who answer the questions of prospective students and tour their families around campus, in normal times. This year, the work of ambassadors has changed significantly as they moved into the virtual environment.
Greg Edgar 11:54
Probably the big difference is that we give less tours in a week, compared to three or four in a day across the entire ambassador team. We do maybe two or three tours a week now, but towards 60 to 70 students, if you get a really popular one, maybe 100 plus all in a presentation. It’s definitely a different experience having to do it online, you kind of lose a little bit of that face to face interaction as well. We tried to supplement that with some, like, ask me anything one-on-one appointments that you could do, where people could book, just, like, a Zoom call with an individual ambassador. And it would just be the family and then the ambassador talking, versus the large campus tours that we were doing.
Bruce Gillespie 12:44
And what are those like? I remember seeing those advertised, and I thought, “Oh, that’s a really good idea.” Is it a different experience? Like, do students ask different things when they’re meeting you one-on-one via Zoom than they would at a tour? Are there different questions? Like, what’s that like?
Greg Edgar 12:58
The only really big difference in questions that we’re getting asked are to do specifically with the pandemic. Kind of, how Laurier’s handling it. What do we expect to see for the next year. But, I try to tell people what the experience currently is like instead, and how we’re doing it virtually right now.
Bruce Gillespie 13:17
That makes sense. I think, I mean, you know, program chairs, instructors, we’re all getting the same questions too, like, “What does next year look like?” We’re like, “We would love to be able to tell you, but we don’t know yet.” We know this is the one question on everybody’s mind. And as soon as there’s an answer I think we’ll all be really excited to hear it. What are some of the other things you’ve done differently this year in terms of recruitment, besides the the ask me anything slots.
Greg Edgar 13:40
We’re currently sending out a campaign where select ambassadors are recording a video of themselves. And we’re sending out en mass to potential students or students who have accepted their time, or accepted their degree for Laurier. Welcoming them, inviting them to come chat with us, giving them our emails, so that they can book one-on-one appointments with us that way as well. Open House as well was online, and that was a crazy couple of days, three days over the course of three weeks to do that.
Bruce Gillespie 14:21
I remember that. I sat in on a couple of our program presentations. So, I was, you know, compared to the work you would have done it was very, very limited. But the first few open houses were just so different than what we’re used to doing. So, it must been really busy for you folks.
Greg Edgar 14:37
Yeah, well, all the the ambassadors were in charge of hanging out in different program, you know, like, program calls, web calls with people to talk about it. And our job was just to facilitate a conversation between potential students and current students in programs as well as the attending faculty. And if there was, like, a lack of questions going on, it was our job to make sure that something was being said to ensure that a student was getting information true of their time, and people weren’t generally just sitting there in an awkward space. As I’m sure most of us have done with our current class states where somebody asked a question, and then just nobody answers. And so, our job is to fill that void.
Bruce Gillespie 15:26
That’s exactly what I thought of when we did those because I thought, “Oh, this is a really nice way for some students to actually get exposed to the same experience that profs have,” with these online classes, like how do I create a lively discussion online? Sometimes it’s more challenging than not. So, I I really, sort of, applaud your efforts of all the ambassadors to do that with, again, prospective students and their families, that can sometimes be a hard crowd to work, but you guys did it well.
Greg Edgar 15:52
Yeah, we’re really proud of the work that we do with that kind of stuff. Making sure that people are always entertained, it’s kind of a skill that’s not required as an ambassador officially, but something that is unofficially recommended is just the ability to chat when somebody doesn’t have any questions. Because giving a tour around campus itself is about an hour to an hour and a half long. And about a third of that is walking from place to place. So, you have to fill that walking void with ability to talk. And that skill has just kind of gone over to the virtual environment when nobody’s talking in an online setting.
Bruce Gillespie 16:36
And I think it’s really important because especially with these in person tours, like, I think a lot of times, people just need to soak it all in, right? They’re trying to look around and take notes, and hear what’s being said, and maybe answer their parents questions, or they’re trying to figure out things. So, I think there’s so much going on that you really, it is nice to have a tour guide who can just, sort of, fill those gaps and tell you information, and not, sort of, pressure you into talking. But, it’s a big job to do, and it can be tricky.
Greg Edgar 17:02
Yeah. And then, even with the tours online currently, instead of one person giving a tour in person, it’s now a team of ambassadors giving a tour virtually. So, instead of a single host, who walks, talks, does everything, we now have an ambassador who’s in charge of guiding the tour camera, we have an ambassador who is monitoring the chat, looking for questions, answering the current ones, saving ones for the end when we have a Q&A session. Usually we have two to three people who are actually talking and hosting. We all have our talking points, we all know where our best strengths are to cover. And so, it really has become a team effort every time we do a tour. There is, sure, maybe one or two people with their faces on the camera. But, it’s usually about four or five people sitting in the background who are helping to make sure that it runs correctly.
Bruce Gillespie 18:01
That must be fun for you folks. Because again, typically, if you were doing these tours in person, it’s typically one ambassador to a tour group. So, it must be fun to actually work with your peers more closely in this way.
Greg Edgar 18:12
Yeah, beforehand it was mostly just a solo project. And then, when we did work with each other, it was usually a weekend tour which has, like, a larger family group, or Open House, right? Where everybody’s kind of working together. But, it was still a very individualistic thing. Now, it is a lot more team oriented.
Bruce Gillespie 18:32
Well, it’s great to hear that you’re having this opportunity to actually work with your peers more closely. And again, I imagine there’s lots you can learn from each other too. So, it must be interesting to see, again, you all learn from similar scripts and stuff. And it must be interesting to see how people talk about certain aspects of the campus than than others, it must be a lot of learning going on there.
Greg Edgar 18:51
Yeah, everybody has a different style when they give a tour of the campus. Everyone has a different, kind of, like, pattern of how they talk, or how they go around talking about each stop. For me, for example, if I walked into Research and Academic Center, even in, like, the virtual setting, and I have it, like, pulled up on screen, I always like to talk in kind of like a circular motion. Where I talk about one stop, and then I go through to the next, and the next, and I kind of have my pattern of what flows from my speeches. But, another tour may start with the bookstore while I start with study spaces in Research and Academic Center. Because it’s just, what we think about is more important to how we use the spaces.
Bruce Gillespie 19:42
It’s interesting to think about how these things have changed. Now, Greg, we’d be remiss to have you here and not ask you the big question, which is, how was your year been? And how are you thinking about the next few weeks? Because, of course, you are a fourth-year student you’re getting ready for graduation. How does that feel from where you’re sitting?
Greg Edgar 20:01
My year has been, it’s been a little bit stressful. Obviously, like you said, I’m a fourth-year student which means for us, Game Design, I have my capstone classes which usually take about two to three courses a semester right now. So, we’re all working on these really big games in a virtual environment, but we have the freedom to make any kind of games that we want. And so, my specialty has always been escape rooms and puzzle design. And so, i’m making a physical puzzle, but I have to figure out how to hand that in digitally to show my professor all of the work that i’m doing for it.
Bruce Gillespie 20:38
Greg Edgar 20:40
Yeah, so it’s been a little bit of, you know, push and pull trying to see about what I want to do with the project, what she needs to see from it, and going with that and trying to work out how the course can be done that way.
Bruce Gillespie 20:54
Again, not a challenge any of us, I think, wanted. But, probably not a bad experience overall to figure out how to share these kinds of materials with people you can’t, sort of, meet in person.
Greg Edgar 21:03
Yeah it’s definitely interesting because you still make a prototype physically, but we’ve been looking at it and going, “Well, I would still need to market this if I wanted to go sell it. So, how would I market it?” Well, let’s hand it in like how I would market it. How I would do, like, 3D scans of it, build up models of it to be sending to people, possibly a video walkthrough of the puzzles. You know, using, like, a GoPro or a phone mount so that I can, kind of, go through it as the player and give them that point of view.
Bruce Gillespie 21:35
Well, that’s interesting. Well, Greg, thank you for telling us about the life of an ambassador this year and making time for us today, and good luck upon graduation it’s just a few weeks away.
Greg Edgar 21:46
Yeah, thank you.
Bruce Gillespie 21:48
Our final guest is Jodie Lockey-Duesling, manager of the Student Wellness Center. the center’s services have been in high demand this year, so I started by asking her how the team’s work has had to change because of the pandemic.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 22:01
Essentially we’ve had to revise everything. So, we had to adjust and adapt pretty quickly, and become very flexible and accommodating as much as we could to meet the students where they’re at physically, mentally, spiritually. And, you know, try to adjust schedules as much as possible, so that we could have a seamless transition to doing more virtual care. So, yeah, our team rallied and pulled together and we did what was necessary. And it was pretty seamless and, you know, ultimately we just cared that the students were getting what they needed.
Bruce Gillespie 22:35
Was virtual care, virtual appointments something guys had done before or was this, sort of, the first?
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 22:39
You know what? Actually, we hadn’t really done it before. I mean, the odd time we would offer it for students, but honestly, like, medically it wasn’t even possible before that. So, medically we were able to adapt pretty quickly to using both phone and virtual appointments. And then, clinically speaking too, the counsellors adapted within days to transition over, but it really wasn’t something we had offered before. So, it’s interesting to see how life can work when you when you have to pivot and try something new, as well.
Bruce Gillespie 23:16
And after a year plus of doing this, what what have you and your staff learned from from meeting students, sort of, in virtual ways as opposed to in person? Are there, sort of, lessons you’re taking away from this?
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 23:26
Yeah, I mean, I think that it’s really important that we can pivot where needed and adjust to meet the needs of the students. And honestly, what we’ve learned is that as much, or as many appointments as we can have is important. So, if we offer a wide array of services then we’re reducing the barriers that may stop some people from coming to, you know, access counseling or medical services. So, we can offer different appointments and I think that that helps accommodate students needs better, and hopefully allows people to reach out that maybe wouldn’t have before.
Bruce Gillespie 24:05
That’s such a good point. I can imagine all sorts of conversations that students might feel more comfortable actually having virtually over the phone than they might be able, than they may want to, sort of, have in person. So, that opens up, like you said, a whole new search channel for those folks.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 24:17
Oh, and even, Bruce, too, not even just medical or individual appointments, but i’m thinking our groups and workshops. Our clinical team and wellness education team created, you know, all these amazing programs, and these creative programs to support and engage students. So, you know, those sorts of social media campaigns and special events like our Positive Puppy Hour. And, you know, writing journal articles and those sorts of things really allowed us to try something new that maybe those students wouldn’t have attended if it was on campus. But, you know, this virtual world allows some people to attend that perhaps wouldn’t have before
Bruce Gillespie 24:54
So, my next question obviously has to be, tell me about Positive Puppy Hour because I want to know all about this.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 24:59
Yeah, it’s so cute. So, we know students love animals and animal therapy. And so, our counsellor, Stephanie Dinsmore, had her French Bulldog, Leo, joined this Positive Puppy Hour and students loved it. We had such a great response from it. So, it was one of our clinical workshop groups that we did.
Bruce Gillespie 25:22
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 25:23
Bruce Gillespie 25:23
I thinktoo, the opportunity to have those kinds of groups online makes sense. Especially at a campus where at the best of times, it seems hard to get, to find times to host a lot of events because people are sometimes off campus, sometimes here, sometimes not in Brantford. So, to be able to offer some of this stuff virtually must really make them a whole lot more accessible than they used to be.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 25:41
Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Because you would have had to have been available at that specific time to go to that specific location, right? So, this allows them to kind of join from the comfort of their homes or wherever they are, and perhaps they wouldn’t have been able to join before. So, I think that that’s one of the interesting things that can happen when we get creative and offer things in a wide array of options to accommodate more students.
Bruce Gillespie 26:05
And are there other new programs you’ve offered, or other new approaches you’ve taken because of having to work virtually and remotely?
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 26:10
For sure. I mean, I think we’ve had to use technology to align and coordinate programming and workshops more than we ever have before. And we were able to collaborate with our lovely Waterloo counterparts to expand our services, and acquire the skills that we need to in order to, you know, add to this kind of growth of programming. But, I will say we’ve had to accommodate and change lots of things, to get everything, kind of, to be online and offered virtually. So, we’ve done an amazing amount of workshops, and special events, and groups and different things that we can do to try to, you know, create as many programs, or as much programming as we can.
Bruce Gillespie 26:55
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 26:56
Bruce Gillespie 26:57
And how have your staff adjusted? What’s it been like to sort of, again, you’re a fairly small team, like everybody else at Laurier Brantford. You’re used to working in fairly close quarters, what’s it been like to, sort of, go to remote working?
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 27:07
You know what? My staff are so exceptional. We are so lucky to have these staff members, they care so much about our students. And really they were fine, they pulled together as quick as they could to do what they needed to do to ensure our client care wasn’t impacted. I mean, they were flexible, and they truly meet students where they’re at. I think you bring up a good point about being a small team, it’s allowed us to be able to offer services that would be difficult for larger teams with larger numbers. And so, honestly, I just have such an exceptional team. I could speak for hours about them, about the things that they’ve had to do to, you know, switch everything up and try to provide good quality care. And so, I honestly can’t speak, you know, enough about them. And also, our student placements, that was a huge barrier for a lot of programs, and our master’s programs, and BSW program was trying to get placements on campus. And so, we stepped up and we hosted multiple students during this time. And I will say that it was nice, even though it was virtual learning for our student placements. It was nice to have them as part of the team and they truly helped out a lot during this time. But, the staff have been amazing, they’ve done so much. It’s amazing, very flexible staff members.
Bruce Gillespie 28:29
You raise a good point. I think that’s probably one of the reasons why folks in Laurier Brantford can be so nimble, because we are small, right? So, it’s easy to transition a group of six to 10 people to doing something differently, as opposed to if you had a group of like 45 or 50 people, like, that would be so much harder.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 28:43
Right. And you know what? I’m a proud alumni of Laurier Brantford, and so the one thing that drew me here was the fact that I would get to know my professors, and the Student Affairs members, and you know, different people on campus. And I think that speaks volumes to the experience that students get at Laurier Brantford. And it’s so, it’s different than other campuses. And I love that part, that we’re able to, we really do know our students and the ones that we support often. And there’s nothing that, kind of, we won’t do to try to help support them. And I think that that’s such a unique thing that can happen at a small campus.
Bruce Gillespie 29:19
Absolutely. I don’t think I realized you were an alumni. So, when were you here and what was your program?
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 29:24
So, I did, I actually did a double major in Psychology and Contemporary Studies. And I graduated in, oh my goodness, 2008. So, a long time ago.
Bruce Gillespie 29:37
Not that long ago.That’s amazing. What a unique opportunity to be able to come back and work in the place where you went to school.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 29:44
Oh, I love it. I absolutely love it. And I’ve got to see it grow too, right? Like, it’s amazing to see the services and the things that we can provide now to students. I mean, it’s remarkable to see. But, yet it still has a small campus feel. So, I love that.
Bruce Gillespie 29:59
I agree. I’ve been teaching, I was teaching part-time in 2008. And I came on full-time in 2010. And you’re right even in that relatively short amount of time, the campus has changed so much. I think in physical ways grown, new buildings, you know, new spaces, and certainly more students around. But, again, we’ve really managed to retain that small community kind of feel, which is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And part of what I love being here.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 30:23
Absolutely. We love having you here too, Bruce.
Bruce Gillespie 30:26
Oh, well, thank you. The other thing I wanted to ask you was, you’re in a unique position to get a sense of how our students are doing this year. We certainly heard a lot, I know faculty have heard a lot certainly, individually from students about the stress of the pandemic, and learning and working from home, and everything. What’s your sense about, sort of, how students have made it through the past year? How are they doing?
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 30:46
Honestly, I think students are so resilient. And I think that they have shown us how much they can adapt, and adjust and be flexible to different learning styles. I will say that, it’s a duality where, you know, it’s so hard on them too. You know, they don’t get as much of the student experience. And yes, our Students’ Union and other departments have done great jobs to try to provide that student experience. But, ultimately, they’re missing the on campus piece, right? And I think it’s so important with community care that we have this connectedness, and that’s what kind of helps us survive and thrive. And so, too, you know, there is a little bit of a loss of that, and I think students feel it. I mean, how can’t they, right? You know, with digital fatigue, and, you know, the unknown and just fear in the world right now, it can be a pretty scary place. So, I think the stress levels are high and for different reasons now, and that, you know, adjusting to doing online work has been really difficult for some people as well.
Granted, and you know, same with faculty members as well. It can be difficult to, kind of, have to change everything, especially so last minute. But, I will say that students are very resilient. And I think that they are really good at reaching out when they need to. They are highly connected to our student affairs population in Brantford. I see so many students collaborate, or work with collaborative partners and on campus, and I think that really helps. But, yeah, I mean, I think it’s just difficult, right? With the digital fatigue, and, you know, it’s hard on students, and it’s hard on people in this world really right now. But, I mean, there’s a lot of pros to them, that they are very resilient and flexible, and they are really good virtually. Probably way better than than I am, for sure. And that connectedness piece is not as strong as we would like to see obviously, when we’re on campus. So, we do the best that we can, but it can be hard to duplicate that piece of in person, kind of, support. And so, we’re lucky here on campus, we’ve actually been back since the end of last summer. We’ve shifted back in to doing certain days in the office for clinic days where we can provide in person support with the psychiatrists or, you know, our doctors or mental health team. And I think that that makes a big difference of being able to offer that option when needed and when it’s possible, with obviously the proper PPE. But, I will say that I think some people are missing out on that face to face piece and that support that we can get that can’t really be replicated. A difficult one.
Bruce Gillespie 33:26
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’m, sort of, feeling optimistic these days, as mass vaccination clinics start rolling out, that we’re, sort of, at the tail end of this and we can start looking forward to getting back together on campus in a safe way sooner than later.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 33:38
Yeah, me too. I’m feeling optimistic as well, for sure.
Bruce Gillespie 33:43
It’s nice to feel optimistic or change, isn’t it?
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 33:45
It’s beautiful. And I think the weather helps us, right? The spring weather kind of brightens our days a little bit.
Bruce Gillespie 33:51
Absolutely. Jodie, this has been great. Thank you so much for talking to us today.
Jodie Lockey-Duesling 33:55
Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
Bruce Gillespie 34:00
And that’s a wrap. Thanks for joining us. We hope it’s helped you feel a little more connected to the Laurier Brantford community. If you liked what you heard, tell your friends and colleagues. You can subscribe on Apple, Google, Stitcher or wherever you find your podcasts. Worried about missing an episode? Sign up for our newsletter. You can find the link on Twitter and Facebook @onemarketlb. One Market was created and produced by Bruce Gillespie and Tarah Brookfield. Music by Scott Holmes, graphics by Melissa Weaver. Our research assistant and intern is Serena Austin. Thanks for listening. Keep in touch!
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