[Time Capsule] 🌠 Community Pulse

Fall 2020

✨ Introduction

As Cornell Creatives grows, one of our goals remains the same: to retain and encourage our sense of community. No matter how populous we become, we always want each member to feel they have a voice and that their voice can change us for the better. 

Taking this to heart, we decided to collect community feedback through student interviews this semester. We’ve compiled our insights from those interviews in a blog post - which is what you’re about to read right now! This first Community Pulse blog post covers what we’ve gleaned from our research during the year and how we plan to improve from the feedback we gathered.

Graphic by Renee, CC Designer


⚡ Encouraging Inspiration and Motivation: Create 101 and Featured Creators

For many members, 2020 took a toll on their creative journey. “I know a lot of people who have burnout,” said Caitlin Stanton (‘20) during the spring semester. “I have a lot of content, but no motivation to [realize] it.” 

Drawing from this perspective, our writing team created our Cornell Creatives blog over the summer. We devised the Create 101 series, sent out weekly installments via newsletter, and recently created a blog page on our website to see all our content in one place! This beginner-friendly blog series includes articles such as “How to Find Inspiration” and “How to Stay Motivated.”

Upon its release, Tise Alatise (‘23) commented, “The blogs are guides that you can access at any time. They offer advice and a sense of comfort.”

Check out our blog!

Graphic by Renee, CC Designer

In addition to offering these resources, our content team used the blog to showcase members in our Featured Creators series. Most of our interviewees shared an interest in reading about other creatives in our newsletters. “I like seeing people pursue their passions and get out of their comfort bubble,” said Mina Prapakamol (‘23). “I also like [the series’] structure, as it’s short enough to read quickly and [the content is] interesting.”

Our blog will continue to devote series to showcase our members, not only to motivate them but also to inspire others.


🤔 Solid Brand, Quiet Slack: Social Media and Presence

This semester, we developed our website and posted frequently on social media. 

These moves were met with appreciation from members who found these updates informative and engaging. “I love the website,” said Chris Tae Seo Lee (‘21). “It’s colorful and beautiful to look at. [I also appreciate the] listing of people on there. I’m on the site myself; that empowered my past experiences and gave me a good opportunity to understand that I can actually impact others as well.”

Graphic by Renee, CC Designer

This impact of showcasing our members extends to social media — Leone Farquharson (‘22) found Cornell Creatives through a repost of one of our Featured Creators’ spotlights on Instagram. “[These updates] encourage me to put more time and thought into what I want to do,” she said. “Seeing other people do creative projects inspires me, too.”

However, while our brand of being inviting and supportive is strong on our website and social media accounts, opinions vary significantly on that of our Slack. Some members are active there and use it to its fullest potential. Others read a few channels, but rarely make their presence known. Still others only realized we had a Slack this semester, and there are likely some who remain blissfully unaware of its existence.

Prapakamol feels the lower level of engagement may be because of the Slack’s sheer size. “Really big groups are intimidating,” she said. “Since the group is quiet, it’s acceptable to be quiet.” To encourage more participation, she suggests smaller groups with active members. Other students believe our Slack group should transition to an app more conducive to casual conversation, like Facebook Messenger, Discord, or GroupMe. 

No matter the path we take, it will be important to keep a way for creators to interact freely with others and to encourage a higher level of activity, especially as our members are scattered all over the world, to cultivate a friendly, connected atmosphere.


🤗 Staying Connected While Apart: Experiments and Suggestions

On the topic of staying connected: going into this semester, we knew that a lot more effort would be required to keep the momentum of our growth as we transitioned to fully virtual meetings and communication. We hosted biweekly G-body meetings, launched our newsletter to keep everyone updated, and held a calligraphy workshop and tech panel. We also expanded our team and reach on social media, bringing in fresh faces, connections, and perspectives.

However, going virtual had its own inevitable set of setbacks, and on top of that, we wanted to make this semester one of trying new things. This led to some less than ideal results. We re-launched Creativitea, which was a coffee chatting program to get to know more students, but struggled with accountability online so we made the decision to put it on pause mid-semester. 

Graphic by Renee, CC Designer

We also launched a mentorship and incubator program, Mastermind. But the number of participants dwindled to eight throughout the semester, and the premise of the program ended up causing some confusion. Suggestions for improvement include providing an incentive so future participants can stay motivated to work toward their goal even with academic pressure. An improved version of Mastermind will launch again next semester, so stay tuned!

Many suggestions for Cornell Creatives point toward more social events, especially casual ones. “It would be possible to host online game nights,” said Annie Deng (‘21). “I’d love to play in some Cornell Creatives Among Us games.” Other suggestions include mixers, challenges and competitions, and a create-a-thon for creators to collaborate.

Based on the resounding interest in getting to know one another as Cornell Creatives continues to expand, the potential for a strong sense of community is clearly promising. It’s up to us to get there. 


Blog post by:

Euna,

CC Writer


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