— by Mellany Armstrong, Associate Director of Communications

A Moore junior is helping students stay connected through social media by creating "Keeping Our Spirits Up Week."

Julia Parrick, a Graphic Design major and resident assistant for the fifth floor of Sartain Hall, issued the challenge with a poster and flier she designed, outlining what participants should do each day from March 30 to April 4.

"I created it as a way to show students that res-life is still thinking of them and still working to think of ways to keep us connected as a community while we're apart this semester," Parrick said. "Keeping Our Spirits Up Week is meant to allow students to do something together even when they can't physically hang out with each other, and to give us all something to plan for and something to get out of your PJs for."  

Each day has a different theme or prompt, including instructions for something to wear or an activity to do, and participants are urged to use the hashtag "KeepingOurSpiritsUpWeek" and the hashtag for that day's theme on all forms of social media, primarily Instagram. Monday's prompt was called "Phone a Friend," and instructed students to wear an outfit inspired by the style of a bestie they missed seeing, post a photo of the outfit, and to call or Facetime the friend. Friday's prompt encourages students to "stunt around the house in your fav school merch" and "now that we all know how to use Zoom, get all ur friends ur missing together for a meeting!"  

"(Tuesday's) theme was 'All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go,' and the prompt said to dress for an event you were excited to go to that got canceled," Parrick said. "I dressed up in my outfit I was planning on wearing to Moore's queer prom," which was to happen March 27. 

"We know that with everything going on in the world and with the change of classes being online that things are pretty stressful," said Kimberley Fox, director of Residence Life and Housing. "Julia has wonderful programming ideas and can easily identify the needs of the student body. As soon as I started to reach out to my staff to talk about programming, she immediately sent me a flier that night for this great idea. I told her to go for it because it is definitely what I think everyone, not just the students, need right now."

Parrick is seeing a lot of participation, even from students at other schools. Comments on social media include "I love this!" and "Thank you for coming up with this challenge!" She's thinking of continuing it in some form after April 4.  

"I'm open to suggestions, especially if a lot of people participate and would like to do more," she said.