MADISON FREELAND, TRUMPET STAFF WRITER
Wartburg Public Health Ambassadors are now rewarding students for masking and social distancing on campus.
This new student-led group focuses on providing health and safety information and creating fun yet COVID-safe activities for students to participate in during this unprecedented time.
“Their role is to be leaders and influencers in regard to all of our current COVID policies and procedures,” said Dr. Daniel Kittle, Wartburg’s Dean of Students and Campus Health Recovery Team Chair, “as well as help us think creatively about how we engage students in this challenging environment.”
According to Rachel Gavin, Wartburg Public Health Ambassador and first-year student, the five student ambassadors will be walking the campus buildings while wearing identifiable hats and masks, giving out incentives to students who are doing a good job of following COVID policies.
“We’re looking for students who are masking and doing activities that are safe, “Gavin said. “For example, we saw some students in the lobby who were playing spoons with their masks on, and we just want to reward students like this who are following the rules.”
“Other than the planning of events and giving out these incentives, they are being very visible on campus so that students know they have a resource to go to for any questions about what the current policies are,” Jo Lynn Dorrance, Internship Coordinator and advisor of the Wartburg Public Health Ambassadors, said.
According to Dorrance, the pandemic has been hard on students’ mental health, especially first-years.
“They’ve had no normal year at all, “Dorrance said, “They’ve hardly gotten to know anybody on campus, other than their immediate roommates, or maybe some people in their classes.”
“I felt like as a first-year it was hard to try to find fun, safe activities to participate in,” Gavin said, “so with this organization, I hope we can kind of promote and find new activities and really just give students a way to take a break and have some fun, but still make it safe with the circumstances.”
On February 11, the Wartburg Public Health Ambassadors will hold an event in the Cardinal Commons for students to stop by and grab hot chocolate and doughnuts to help them recharge after the first few weeks of Winter Term.
The program was inspired by a college in New York and is the only of its kind in Iowa, according to Dorance.
Any students interested in becoming a Wartburg Public Health Ambassador may reach out to Dorrance at firstname.lastname@example.org.