The CAVE community explored a variety topics that were of interest to commuter students and the content is still available to you today! We noticed there were three areas that students were 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 2020-2021 academic year, Lutes MasterClass explored topics such as off-campus treasures, setting intentions for success, and help with housing. This experience was coordinated by The CAVE staff members and included PLU campus partners to share some of their expertise. Scroll below to view the resources and feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the content (email: ctsc@plu.edu)



Participants were 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

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

Advocacy Alliances: THRIVE Model

This section, we introduced the THRIVE model and talked about the three segments of the semester that was guided by psychosocial theory. The first segment of the semester is “rooting and routine” we encouraged students to find ways of staying grounded during the beginning of a term.

Learn more about the THRIVE model from this sections 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. Within this section, we shared 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 section, we are highlighting the materials shared with us from representatives in the Alumni and Student Connections office to talk about interviewing and job shadowing. Read about 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 sections 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

This is your friendly reminder for a mental health check point. We know the middle of the semester is a tough point! Test, papers, and grades roll in and we also have all the life events outside of school. Take 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. Within this section we combined the mental health strategies from the last section 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.

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? This section we will focus on various aspects of finances from personal to institutional. The CAVE staff is happy to answer your questions 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 section 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 section we are supporting and inspired by PLU’s annual event – Earth and Diversity Week 2021. Within this material, you read about unpacking and expanding 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 the 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 section we uplift our connection to student government and action has taken place this past school year. You can check out all their initiatives, bills, and resolutions that have been passed for an update from the previous school year. The link to ASPLU’s webpage is included so you can continue exploring this campus organization.  We encourage you to run for a position to advocate for change at PLU! 

Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability: Writing Your American Lyric

We are living through troubling times – especially for our BIPOC, queer, and trans community members. This section we focused 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 section, we explored 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. What is your American Lyric?
Click here to find Amanda Gorman’s poem In This Place that inspired this section and click here to read our group’s PLU Lyric

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 continued to expand our conversation from the last section 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 section, we learned 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.