Good health and well-being icon from Sustainability Development Goals

Student Engagement

Our inaugural Decorate Your Dorm event for first-year and transfer students was a huge hit, with more than 500 students lined up around the Du Bois Library courtyard for the chance to create their own terrariums. Conceived by Dean Mani, this event offered students new to UMass the opportunity to add a little bit of greenery to their dorm rooms and to connect with fellow students. The Libraries supplied all of the containers, plants, and soil, as well as 3-D printed figurines from our Digital Media Lab to allow students to personalize their terrariums.

Our first-ever Postcards Home event was heart-warming, as we had over 300 students come to the Du Bois lobby to send library-created postcards to family and friends. We heard again and again that students felt like we really cared because we were helping them stay connected to loved ones all around the world, including in places like Ukraine and Iran. We also learned that writing a postcard was a new skill for some of our students, so we were able to teach them how to do that. We’re already looking forward to another Postcards Home event for the spring semester!

Now in its third year, the Libraries Outreach Series continues to grow. Students across campus faithfully converge on RECESS, a space in the Du Bois Library designed to support their wellbeing, each week for game nights, arts and crafts projects, and even open mic performances. This year’s Get Your Game On, the series’ annual kickoff event at the start of the fall semester, attracted nearly 500 undergraduates; even Chancellor Javier Reyes and Maritza Reyes (below) came to mingle with students and wish them well on the new term.