Oaks Neighborhood relies on traditions to continue building community

The Oaks Neighborhood will remain Ready and Resilient while still building a sense of community.

This semester on campus, Identifying some sense of normalcy — whatever that word may mean these days — can be challenging. That’s why the Oaks Neighborhood is committed to continuing its traditions in order to build community and reinforce its neighborhood theme of Emerging Adulthood.

This semester, the Oaks will continue to host neighborhood dinners and Late Night Noms on various Tuesdays. But while the offerings remain the same, the events will look a little different.

“Even during this time of COVID, it’s incredibly important that we have the opportunity to build community in the Oaks and spend time with each other,” said Colin Donohue, the faculty director of the Oaks and the School of Communications director of student engagement and alumni affairs. “We want to continue to offer programs that allow our students to connect and to engage in meaningful conversation. So we will continue to offer our traditional events, with our priority being the safety of our students and the Elon community.”

More neighborhood dinners will be offered because they will not be open to the entire neighborhood. Instead, all dinners will be hosted outside and will be broken down by building in order to limit the size of the gathering to no more than 25 people. Still, the dinners will continue to be a great way to spark conversations among residents around topics related to political engagement, information literacy, financial literacy and thriving.

Oaks resident and sophomore sport management major Violet Robertson attended the neighborhood’s first dinner. She said she appreciated the precautions and the opportunity to have conversations with residents.

“The dinner was run smoothly within COVID guidelines, while still being a fun social event where we could mingle with our neighbors,” she said.

Oaks residents receive a grab and go meal.

Late Night Noms will maintain their 8 p.m. start time and take a hybrid approach, combining a mix of in-person and virtual events. The first LNN of the semester allowed residents to play a game of wellness bingo entirely on Instagram. The next one allowed students to swing by the McCoy Commons patio and pick up a goodie bag.

The Oaks Neighborhood is committed to maintaining the health and safety of its community while continuing to build a sense for community focused on the neighborhood theme.

“Our goal is to keep the themes in any way we can,” said Trianne Smith, community director of the Oaks. “We are using a lot more social media this semester, hosting contests and posting information for the students. Colin and I are trying to be flexible with needing to change and maintain the Ready and Resilient guidelines.”