The pandemic didn’t just disrupt in-person classes. It interrupted many social activities that help friendships develop and flourish for graduate students in the Division of the Humanities.
To remedy the dearth of social activities for more than a year, the Humanities Division Graduate Student Council (HDGSC) wanted to give a proper welcome to the graduate students who joined the Division in 2020 and 2021, as well as welcome back their fellow graduate students through thoughtfully selected items in gift bags.
“We are thrilled that we could reach as many students in the Chicagoland area as we did,” said Catie Witt, President of HDGSC. “We wanted to welcome graduate students back to campus and to help rebuild a sense of community. Many students told us how thrilled they were with the surprise.”
Witt, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Vice President, Naomi Harris (NELC), planned the list of supplies, collected several volunteers, and distributed more than 300 bags during November from the Humanities Division headquarters in the Walker Art Museum. The gift bags were stocked with useful items such as notebooks, mini-first aid kits, gift cards, tumblers, and hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes—now staples in the pandemic-world.