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In wake of coronavirus, Day of Service/Giving altered; other events go online

by Chuck Gordon

The coronavirus has brought much of the country to a halt, and Wingate University is no exception. In addition to classes being canceled this week and going online next week, all in-person events on campus have been canceled or postponed.

That includes One Day, One Dog, a day of service and giving that has been one of the biggest events on the University’s calendar for the past four years. The event was scheduled for April 2.

The service portion of the day has been canceled altogether, but the giving portion has been transformed into an appeal to raise money for students in need, especially as the spread of the coronavirus hits communities hard. “In the spirit of One Dog, we are uniting all of our efforts under one mission: to serve our students during this unprecedented time,” says Brittany Peper, director of annual-giving communications and operations.

The giving appeal will start immediately, Peper says. To give, visit the One Day, One Dog giving page and make sure “Student Relief Fund” is selected under “Designation.”

Money donated to the fund could be used in any number of ways to ease the burden on students, whose lives were upended last weekend when the campus was closed down in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. Many students, especially those from overseas or states far away from North Carolina, have had transportation problems. Others have had to change their employment situation or have technology issues that make continued instruction difficult.

University officials hope to reschedule the service portion of One Day, One Dog for the fall, though no plans have been developed yet as Wingate deals with more immediate concerns regarding the pandemic. More than 30 service projects were lined up for the day, and a hefty portion of the campus population – students, faculty and staff members, even members of the community – typically takes part.

“One Day, One Dog has only been growing in popularity as students take a more hands-on role in planning the service events,” says Amanda Alling, One Day, One Dog project manager. “I know that community partners always look forward to working with Wingate and only see this as a minor setback.”

Other previously scheduled events on campus will go on, just in a virtual environment. Wingate University’s annual showcase of student research, creative works and projects is going online this spring, Dr. Terese Lund, coordinator of undergraduate research, announced this week. The Wellspring Symposium will be held April 15 and 16, with the details of the electronic format still being worked out.

The Wellspring Symposium annually provides students with an opportunity to present their best work from the academic year. In years past, students had designated time slots in which to present their work in one of several locations across campus. Visitors could go from presentation to presentation, much like at a science fair.

This year, students’ work will be presented online as videos, blogs, PowerPoints, ePortfolios and other formats. The multidisciplinary Wellspring Symposium showcases research; community-engagement, service-learning and experiential-learning projects; entrepreneurial endeavors; internships; innovative ideas; study-abroad experiences; and creative works.

In addition, a selection of Lyceum events will be held online, starting today. All Wingate students need to attend 24 Lyceum events in order to graduate, so a selection of events will be offered via the internet to help seniors fulfill that requirement, says Antonio Jefferson, director of Lyceum and multicultural programming.

The events begin today at 3:30 p.m. “General Education and Higher Education: Past, Present, and Future,” presented by Carrie Hoefferle, history professor and dean of general education. Jefferson says that there have been well over 100 RSVPs for today’s program and that about 70 people have registered for a resume workshop being held tomorrow.

Both programs are being conducted over the Zoom digital-meeting platform. Students are notified via e-mail of any available programs. Jefferson hopes to offer 20 Lyceum programs virtually and says several faculty members have volunteered to provide content for them.

March 19, 2020