Welcome to the Lute Master Class!

An experience designed for PLU off-campus students who are interested in developing community, leadership styles, and thriving as an undergraduate.



The CAVE is excited to continue of Lutes MasterClass this spring semester! After seeking feedback from commuter students, we noticed there were three areas that students are most interested in during their first semester at PLU. The three themes include creating friendships with other off-campus students, learning about campus resources, and strategies to thrive. Throughout the spring semester, Lutes MasterClass will explore topics such as off-campus treasures, setting intentions for success, and help with housing. This experience will be coordinated by The CAVE Community Advocates and will include PLU campus partners to share some of their expertise. We invite you to join us and create some community connections as we navigate this remote learning experience!

See below for registration information.



This spring semester, participants will be able to:

+Engage in weekly touchpoints with new students who live off campus

+Create connections with a peer mentor, new students, and staff lead

+Provide knowledge so students can confidently navigate PLU resources and communities online and when we return in person

Join a Lute Masterclass!

Wednesdays at 3:30-430pm

Zoom link HERE

Setting Intentions for Success

Welcome to PLU! As a student, you will be diving deep into many tech platforms, being introduced to new learning expectations, and navigating a new environment. Our crew is happy to help  support learning and growth, including answering questions about Sakai and Google apps for education (e.g., gmail, google calendar, google docs, sheets, and slides). This week we will guiding you through any tech questions, commuter tips, and getting to know the PLU environment. Join our group this week to learn about some tips that will be useful today and in the future!

This past week we shared some tips and resources for productivity, check out the Google slides by following this link! 

Advocacy Alliances: THRIVE Model

Every other week we will be featuring “Advocacy Alliances” throughout the spring semester and the format will be a semi-structured conversation in comparison to the content delivery style on the other alternating weeks. Even weeks of the semester will feature specific presentations while odd weeks will be more conversation based with a topic of discussion.

This week, we will be introducing the THRIVE model and talk about the three segments of the semester that will be guided by psychosocial theory. The first segment of the semester is ‘rooting and routine” we would love to hear about your ways of staying grounded during the beginning of a term.

Learn more about the THRIVE model from this week’s Slides presentation here!

A comic book style panel with a geometric red yellow and blue background, and a speech bubble that says "THRIVE Model Spring 2021 Lute Masterclass"

Off-Campus Treasures

Commuter and off-campus students live in a variety of places near and far from PLU. Some students are right across the street and other students live across county lines. During this session, we will share resources that have been helpful to commuter students such as orca cards, community organizations, and even some great local eats around the area. If you have lived in the region your whole life or just moved here, we hope you are able to learn something new about the wonderful area we live in!

Check out our Padlet map with all our favorite off-campus treasures right here!

 Advocacy Alliances: Career Connections

This week on Advocacy Alliances, we are meeting with representatives from Alumni and Student Connections to talk about interviewing and job shadowing. We’ll discuss how to make a great impression, what kind of questions you can expect to be asked, and how to best answer in order to increase your likelihood of success! 

Find this week’s slides here to learn more about interviewing and job shadowing and click here to schedule an appointment with someone from Alumni and Student Connections to discuss any questions you may have about internships, interviewing, or career advising, or to set up a practice interview!

Managing Mental Health

We are about half way through the semester and its time for a mental health check point. We know the middle of the semester is a tough point! Test, papers, and grades are starting to roll in and we also have all the life events outside of school. Join us for a moment to decompress, learn about healthy habits, and practice positive mental health routines for today and the future. We all need a little break in the semester and we know you deserve it!

(infographic from The Faith Leader, more info here)

Here are the Slides we used this week

Click here for more information about Mindfulness and mental health strategies

Advocacy Alliances: Mid Semester Renewal

It may be your first semester at PLU or continuing in your college career, but don’t forget to find a time to renew and rest during the middle of the semester. During our conversations this week we will combine the mental health strategies from last week with community tips so you can try them out in the coming weeks. This will be a good time to check in with yourself and friends to assess what is working well, what needs to be scraped, and what can be changed. 

We met with a representative from the counseling center this week who shared some counseling center resources. Check out the counseling center’s website here or view their Youtube video playlist here for more tips on managing your mental health during tough times.

Coffee Chats & Tea Talks

We want to take this time in the middle of the semester to connect over a warm beverage and see how you are doing! Since this time of the semester would usually be around spring break, we want to use this week to relax and get to spend small group time outside on campus. Our treat! The spring blooms will be in effect and outside weather should be fair. Mask wearing and physical distancing will be required as part of local and state guidelines. 

Advocacy Alliances: Let’s Talk About Money!

What is credit? Is it okay to take out a loan? What does it mean to create a budget? The Advocacy Alliance conversations will focus on various aspects of finances from personal to institutional. It will be a great place to get your questions answered about PLU loans, financial aid for next semester, scholarships, creating a budget plan for summer, and a couple other finance strategies as a student. 

Check out our slides from this week here, and be sure to click the links on each slide for access to articles with more useful information regarding budgeting and personal finances!

Imagining Sustainable Futures

This week we are supporting and inspired by PLU’s annual event – Earth and Diversity Week 2021. As we come together, our topic will unpack and expand on the concept of ‘sustainability’ as it’s a keyword in our values of DJS. We encourage students to check out the Earth & Diversity Week webpage to access the readings and look over the reflection questions that are posed for discussion. What is your definition of sustainability? What is your relationship with sustainable practices? Let’s critically think about how we have learned about sustainability and implications for this moment in time.

Here’s the slideshow we used to discuss sustainability and here is another slideshow we used to discuss Tuesday night’s lecture with Tink Tinker on World Balance vs Personal Salvation

Advocacy Alliances: ASPLU Representative

Did you know off-campus students have a representative within the Associated Students of Pacific Lutheran University (ASPLU)? During this session we will chat about our connection to student government and action has taken place this past school year. This would be a great time to uplift any ideas you have for student government or just learn about recent initiatives happening in ASPLU.

Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability: Writing Your American Lyric

We are living through troubling times – especially for our BIPOC, queer, and trans community members. This week we will be focusing on healing, celebrating, and uplifting the diverse voices that comprise our towns, cities, and country. We all have various social identities which influence how we navigate everyday life and there is power in sharing our joys, struggles, and dreams with one another.
During this session, are going to explore Amanda Gorman’s poem In This Place (An American Lyric) to frame our own structure to practice writing our own American Lyric. We invite you to write with us as we explore the intricacies of identity and weave our narratives.

Voice as Political Choice

Whose shoulders do you stand on? What do you stand for? For anyone who believes poetry is stuffy or elitist, National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman has some characteristically well-chosen words. According to Amanda, poetry is for everyone, because at its core it’s all about connection and collaboration. We will continue to expand our conversation from last week regarding Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability. We all possess various strengths, skills, and talents  that we bring to our university and to our community. During this last content session, we will learn how our abilities can come together to advocate for awareness, education, and change. 






Here’s our slideshow from this week, including a link to Amanda Gorman’s TED Talk.

Celebrating You!

Let’s come together for the very last Lute Masterclass to uplift and honor the strength, resilience, and perseverance it took to make it to the end of the spring semester! We will be hosting some “good-bye” activities and have some light hearted fun to close out the semester.