Student Voice in COVID-19 Initiative

April 30, 2020

Campus Compact for Southern New England is pleased to announce a new partnership initiative with Local Voices Network to gather the voices of students who have been singularly affected by COVID-19. Details about upcoming gathering conversations for students throughout May are listed below. 

What is the Local Voices Network (LVN)

Developed by the non-profit Cortico, the Local Voices Network (LVN) is a unique physical-digital network designed to bring under-heard community voices, perspectives and stories to the center of a healthier public dialogue. LVN is fueled by ordinary people sharing their voices in small-group, in-person or virtual discussions led by volunteer facilitators. In-person conversations are gathered around a digital Hearth, that records the discussion to play clips from previous conversations, providing a way for participants to understand and engage with one another in their community. These recorded conversations also serve to amplify under-heard voices and perspectives for other local stakeholders, such as media, institutions, or policymakers.

As COVID-19 has spread, LVN has been committed to gathering conversations with those at the front lines of the pandemic – people like census workers, teachers, food pantry workers, and those in healthcare. We are focused now on amplifying the voice of students of all institutions and all backgrounds from across the region.

LVN – Campus Compact Student Voice in COVID-19 Initiative

Students have been especially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lives have been upended, campuses uprooted a global health crisis that has sent many students home and left others isolated and far from family. Working towards the mission of amplifying underheard voices, LVN and Campus Compact are working together to gather the voices of students who have been singularly affected by COVID-19. In a cross-state call out, we are recruiting students who identify in the groups outlined below from colleges and universities across Southern New England (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) representing community college, state, public and private institutions.

Students have been especially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lives have been upended, campuses uprooted a global health crisis that has sent many students home and left others isolated and far from family. Working towards the mission of amplifying underheard voices, LVN and Campus Compact are working together to gather the voices of students who have been singularly affected by COVID-19. In a cross-state call out, we are recruiting students who identify in the groups outlined below from colleges and universities across Southern New England (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) representing community college, public, and private institutions.

    • International students: With a lot of attention rightly paid on domestic students who have traveled back home after their institution’s doors have closed, not enough is being heard from those who are unable to do so. International students who have remained in the United States, please share your unique perspectives with us and with one another.
    • First generation students: Knowing that you may fall into any of these other categories, we want to create a space for first-gen students to hear from one another and to process the impact of COVID-19 on yourselves, your campuses, and your communities.
    • Students in COVID-19 affected jobs: No one is just a student, and since we have been hearing from those working (or being laid off from) jobs highly impacted by the pandemic, we want to hear from you. Students working in – or laid off from –  fields such as healthcare, food access, the restaurant/service industry, gig economy, or any other essential roles.
    • Students dealing with housing or food insecurity: We want to hear from students for whom access to stable housing and regular meals is an ongoing concern. You might be on campus or doubled up with friends, relying on friends or family for meals or scraping by on your own. We want to hear from you and learn about which resources you have that have been helpful and which you need.

What Happens?

  1. Participate: Sign up for a conversation with 4-6 other participants over Zoom (with more, we’ll use Breakout Rooms) guided by a volunteer facilitator. 
  2. Listen: Your conversation will become part of our national COVID-19 collection, and after the conversation you can listen in to your own and other conversations across the US featuring those impacted by COVID-19.
  3. Share: Our platform is accessible to media partners like WBUR, Boston Institute of Nonprofit Journalism and more. You may see your voice featured in their coverage of student.
  4. Facilitate:: If you liked your experience, host a conversation with students from your institution or others you know. Sign up for one of our facilitator trainings and you can be part of the LVN team.

Questions? Please contact Jess Weaver, Head of Local Voices Network – Boston, at jess {at} lvn(.)org