SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The 2020-2021 academic year will be different, and a group of students has taken it upon themselves to prepare the campus community.

The COVID-19 Student Response team has recorded a series of videos to discuss the college’s Wofford Together plan, which outlines guidelines and requirements for everyone to follow to reduce the spread of illness.

“Every member of the COVID-19 Student Response Team is a tremendous leader on campus,” says Roberta Hurley Bigger, dean of students. “We are all better because of their energy and enthusiasm. Their leadership is valuable and much appreciated.”

The video series includes two Zoom conversations where a group of students discuss the Wofford Together plan while sharing how they were preparing to return to campus by divvying up the purchase of cleaning supplies with roommates and quarantining at home two weeks before returning to campus while watching NBA games and Hulu.

“I’m kind of sad,” says Jalen Carter ‘21, of Clinton, South Carolina, when thinking about how different college life will be. “I want to be able to do some of the college kid things, but at the same time, I’ve been deprived of Wofford for five months. You either adapt or get left behind.”

Carter is a member of the Student Response Team. He’s sharing an on-campus apartment with some friends he met during his first weekend as a student. They’re planning themed dinners and Carter tested some of his recipes with family during the summer. One of his prized purchases for the upcoming year is a rice cooker.

“I make mean fajitas,” says Carter.

Elena Pulanco ’22 is another member of the Student Response Team. She and her roommates started a shared document listing various cleaning supplies they needed. Pulanco is from Englewood, New Jersey, and some items were harder to find in her hometown than in her roommates’.

“We can see which products to purchase and how much,” says Pulanco. “It ensures we’re all contributing and have enough supplies while on campus.”

Pulanco is a member of Wofford’s women’s basketball team. She said it was nice to have extra time with her family and barbecues, but she missed the time the team often has together in June to lead camps and train.

She and her roommates are planning movie nights and Spikeball games.

“I haven’t seen people outside of my family for five months,” says Pulanco. “I can’t wait to be back on campus and following the guidelines and procedures will be essential to enjoy time with professors, teammates, friends and coaches.”