Leaders at Pace University went the extra mile to bring students back to campus safely, with a bit of fun to boost student engagement.

How we built campus affinity and student engagement during COVID

Faculty and staff at Pace University went the extra mile to bring students back to campus safely--with a bit of fun

I can almost hear our collective sigh of relief as vaccinations roll out across the country and plans take shape for safe return to campus for the upcoming summer and fall semesters. At Pace University, where I serve as assistant director of marketing and account management working from our New York City campus, this eventful past year had been a challenging yet rewarding one.

When COVID-19 spiked last fall, our 13,000-strong student body emerged relatively unscathed, registering just 10 cases on both our New York City and Westchester campuses in New York. When College Magazine ranked us 4th in their list of “Top 10 Colleges Deserving Recognition for their Response to COVID-19,” peers from other universities reached out eager to learn and exchange best practices for their respective campus.

This article shares what our team at Pace did to bring students back safely. As we developed and strengthened a communication plan and protocols for being on campus, we also took one more step! We created innovative content and campaign solutions across multiple channels to build student engagement and campus affinity while also reinforcing important safety messages.

Through several layered campaigns, we strived to create the most “normal” experience possible and to communicate safety non-compliance without students feeling surveilled or punished. Most importantly, we kept attention and garnered their engagement week after week.

eSchool Media Contributors