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PLU debuts new ‘CheckFive’ initiative, designed to strengthen communities virtually

PLU debuts new ‘CheckFive’ initiative, designed to strengthen communities virtually

Posted by:
April 9, 2020
By Thomas Kyle-Milward
Marketing & Communication

TACOMA, WASH. (April 9, 2020) — Physical distancing and shelter-in-place directives have made traditional ways of keeping in community challenging at best during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why PLU is rolling out “CheckFive,” a social media initiative designed to rebuild networks and spark connections among Lutes.

CheckFive calls for PLU community members to reach out to five people and check in, specifically those who’ve gone quiet during the recent upheaval. Human interaction has never been more important — and someone out there might really need that phone call, text, email or social media message.

“It’s on all of us to care for our communities in times like this,” said Lace Smith, PLU’s associate vice president of marketing and communications. “CheckFive is about connecting with a fellow student you haven’t heard from since we pivoted to distance learning, starting a conversation with a faculty peer you miss seeing around campus.”

Beginning that dialogue, especially with someone you don’t know particularly well, might seem a little intimidating or awkward at first. But checking your five in these unprecedented times is a vital act of community care — a core component of PLU’s mission.

“Since we aren’t running into each other at OMM or in Red Square on our way to classes or meetings, we need to more intentionally reach out to check in so we remember we’re all in this together and that we can be sources of strength and support for each other,” PLU Pastor Jen Rude said. “Even though it is critical to be physically distant right now, keeping our communal connections is just as critical.”

And while PLU’s CheckFive initiative originates from a desire to rebuild those campus connections that have been impacted by this health crisis, there’s hope it’ll have resounding ripples across the greater Pierce County area.

“We care about each other — not just those in our inner circle, but in the larger community,” Rude said. “We don’t want anyone to fall off the radar or slip through the cracks — everyone is important in our community.”

Tips for Choosing Your Five. Someone:

  1. Who you’ve known your whole time at PLU
  2. Who you miss seeing around campus
  3. Who you want to make sure knows that you really see and value them
  4. Who you would like to stay connected with beyond this spring
  5. You just met this year