Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Hey off-campus friends! Let’s spend some time talking about how we could all be good neighbors during this precarious time. Not just saying ‘hello’ in passing to one another while walking down the street, but going beyond that and truly keeping everyone’s well-being in mind. Wearing a mask has already been pretty well hammered into our minds, and for a good reason, but how can we do more?

  1. As tempting as it may be, do not shake hands with others. You can touch elbows or just wave at one another. Do your best to minimize physical contact with those you don’t live with.
  2. Of course we all want to spend time with friends we haven’t seen in a while, however try to limit how many people you’re getting together with. Even though 25 people is the official limit, try to keep gatherings to under 10 people, including yourself.
  3. A lot of us have begun working out during quarantine meaning that there may be a lot more people jogging around residential areas. If you come across someone heading your way, whether you’re walking or running, step aside and keep distance between yourself and others.
  4. Not all of us have our personal vehicles here in Syracuse, so there will be a good chunk of students using public transportation—where most routes are free when you show your student I.D.! Within the buses and trolleys, be aware of how close you get to others.
  5. We’re all doing some of our coursework from the comfort of our homes, which means while you might be playing some videos games, there could be another student on the other side of the wall trying to listen to a lecture. We always want to be mindful of how loud we can get, but especially now.

Some of these tips you’ve probably already heard, but repetition has been proven to work! Part of being neighborly is also getting the opportunity to make new friends. It can be a bit more difficult right now, but it’s not impossible! Ever since the fall semester began, SU has been hosting a myriad of virtual and on-campus events. Especially for those of us living off-campus, we can often feel disconnected, so attending various events can help limit that feeling. The Syracuse Community Calendar has a whole laundry list of virtual and in-person events that any student can attend. Many of these events offer transportation if needed and ensure that social distancing guidelines will be followed.

Still worried about finding something to do? The Community Ambassadors work on South Campus and exist to aid in making off-campus and commuter students feel a part of the campus community. They put on different events each month that are accessible for all students no matter where they live.

If you have any issues and/or see someone who might not be following social distancing guidelines all too well, feel free to contact the Office of Student Living. They help with students who live on- and off-campus and sure are a wealth of knowledge. You can visit their office on either South Campus or Main Campus where someone can help you in-person during regular business hours between 8:30-5 p.m. You can also give them a phone call at 315.443.3637 or send a quick email to osl@syr.edu.

Written by Cassaundra Caudillo G’21, School of Education, Community Ambassador