July 2, 2020

Stay Connected With SAE Playlists

With laptops in tow, Many UMW faculty, staff and students have hunkered down in their bedrooms, at their kitchen tables and in home offices, firing up search engines, virtual meetings and social media – anything to keep the semester on track.

Practicing social-distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, can’t keep the UMW community from staying connected. The Office of Student Activities and Engagement (SAE) believes in the power of music to help us do that. Its new “Playlist Spotlight” program features favorite song selections submitted by faculty and staff to share with each other and with students.

Appearing each week in SAE’s Monday newsletter (and on its Facebook page Monday, Wednesday and Friday), the Spotify lists will keep us movin’ and groovin’ – even though we’re sequestered – and all UMW employees are welcome to submit the music that inspires them.

With events and on-campus engagements on hold, “we’re looking for the best ways to build community online,” said UMW senior and SAE intern Lillian Lester, who plans other “digital student activities,” like craft DIY videos, cooking tutorials, joint movie streaming and video game tournaments. “We know it’s never going to replace all of the big events that our students were looking forward to, but it’s the least we can do for our people.”

Assistant Director for Campus RecreationBrittanie Naff was quick to get in on the act, stacking her playlist, Dance Fitness With Naana, with the tunes she uses to teach weekly classes, now on hold with the Fitness Center closed until further notice. Think Party Favor and Cardi B.

“I hope it inspires you to have some fun, get a little silly and smile!” she wrote on her playlist.

Assistant Director of Student Activities Crystal Rawls filled her playlist, KPOP Mania #1, with songs from the eclectic K-pop genre from South Korea.

“This idea was started because we felt that music was one of the best ways to bring people together during such an uncertain time,” Rawls said. “We wanted to keep students engaged online as best as we could.”

Up next? COAR’s selections. A little Billy Joel, anyone?

All UMW faculty and staff are invited to send their own Spotify Playlist for possible inclusion in the newsletter. To contribute, email Crystal Rawls at crawls@umw.edu or Lillian Lester at llester@mail.umw.edu.