Nebraska’s Student Involvement office began distributing care bags Friday afternoon to the university’s 11 Greek houses currently under quarantine.
The project was organized by Veronica Riepe, director of Student Involvement, and Leigh Thiedeman, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, who wanted to find a way to support the quarantined fraternity and sorority members as they isolate for the required two-week period.
“We know that a vast majority of students who are being quarantined right now have followed the rules and acted responsibly,” Riepe said. “The bags are meant to bring a little bit of brightness to their day, as well as provide that sense of Husker community that they may not be able to get while they’re distanced from others.”
Riepe got the idea for the care bags last Monday, and the project moved quickly from there.
“I sent an email to about 20 people on campus to ask if anyone wanted to donate anything for the bags, and I received so many positive responses. People wanted to share whatever they could,” she said.
Offices across campus chipped in over the next four days to provide pens, T-shirts, headphones, rubber bracelets, hand sanitizer, stress balls, lip balm, post-it notes and other miscellaneous items for the bags.
The bags include donations from:
- Nebraska Alumni Association
- College of Business Career Services
- New Student Enrollment
- Fraternity and Sorority Life
- Dining Services
- Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services
- Campus Recreation
- Big Red Resilience and Well-Being
- Counseling and Psychological Services
- Union Bank and Trust
- University Bookstore
- Nebraska Unions
The Student Involvement and Fraternity and Sorority Life offices also purchased granola bars, microwave popcorn, playing cards and crayons to go with printed coloring pages from the Nebraska Alumni Association website.
Riepe and her colleagues delivered around 75 to 100 bags to the Greek community Friday afternoon and plan to distribute them on a rolling basis until they run out of supplies.
According to Riepe, students being quarantined in Piper Hall aren’t allowed to receive items due to safety protocols, which is why her team decided to stick to fraternities and sororities for the time being.
“For now, we’re focusing on the Greek chapters. We’ll see how long our supplies last and what happens with cases in the next several weeks,” Riepe said.
Riepe said she’s been encouraged by the generosity of the Husker community and hopes students who receive the bags feel campus’ message of support.
“It’s been amazing to see so many departments and units chip in to this project,” Riepe said. “I think it showcases how much we value those one-on-one connections with students and how committed everyone here is to making this semester successful.”