Shared struggles settling into social niches on campus and in the community have led to the creation of a new support program for University of Nebraska–Lincoln employees.
Organized by Veronica Riepe, director of Student Involvement, the Campus Community Connection (Triple C) program is designed to help university employees — new and old — meet colleagues and learn about community offerings on and off campus.
“I’m a person who has a lot of friends and I like to put myself out there, but I had some real difficulty finding my place here in Lincoln,” Riepe said. “It was a tough transition. I sort of put that feeling in the rear-view mirror and marched on with work.”
She believed her experience was unique and chalked it up to a number of reasons — maybe she simply forgot what it was like to be new; and, her university peers were older, most married with children, making common ground difficult to find.
“My social networks eventually coalesced on campus and in the community,” Riepe said. “Talking with colleagues over the years, I’ve heard transition stories similar to mine. Those conversations got me thinking.”
Riepe has developed the Triple C program over a number of years, presenting the concept and gaining approval last year. The free pilot program launched in January, covering a new topic every month through December.
The sessions opened in February with a focus on recreation opportunities, followed by spirituality in March. The next session, 3:30 to 5 p.m. April 18 in Massengale Hall, Room 115, will explore outdoor activities. Planned activities include a presentation from Nebraska Game and Parks, a walking tour of Maxwell Arboretum on East Campus and social time at the Nebraska Dairy Store.
“Our overall goal is for participants to have fun, get to know someone new and learn about activities they might be interested in,” Riepe said. “Everyone from the campus community is invited to attend.”
Other future topics include family fun, Nebraska Innovation Campus, athletics, food, community engagement, East Campus, finances, museums and performing arts. A complete schedule and additional information are available on the Triple C webpage.