Iowa State students were able to escape the cold on their way to classes by eating donuts, drinking coffee or hot chocolate and interacting with staff at the annual Donuts With the Dean of Students Office (DSO) event Wednesday morning.
The event’s main goal was to bridge the gap between students and staff and make students more aware of the services the office provides, according to the event's organizers.
“It’s been really great to see students that maybe I met earlier in the semester come through this event and be able to connect with them again,” said Kody Henke, assistant director of Student Assistance and program coordinator for the DSO. “To share our services, should any students need them in the future, they know where to find us and who they can connect with and hopefully now see a name with a face.”
Rather than having the event outside the front of the building, the organizers of the event said they thought it was best to host the event inside to draw students in and become more familiar with the building.
“Our goal at this event is to really just inform students of our services because a lot of people don’t know that we’re here,” said Isabelle Armstrong, junior in event management. “We also like to have it inside our lobby so it encourages people to walk into the building because oftentimes there is a stigma with this building when in reality it’s a very welcoming place.”
Armstrong is a student ambassador; she works to help inform other students of the programs and resources made available by the DSO. With a total of nine student ambassadors, spreading the word about the office is a team effort.
“They’re definitely a friendly staff,” said Alyssa Dougherty, senior in dietetics. “I felt welcomed when I came in and so they did a great job of just being friendly.”
Dougherty said she was motivated to go to Donuts with the DSO mainly because of the free food, but meeting new people so early in her day was an added bonus.
With 2019 only being the second year the event has taken place, there are plans to keep hosting the event in the future, specifically during this time of year.
“Our first ever donuts with the DSO was around Halloween last year," Armstrong said. "We dressed up in costumes and it was a really big success, so we decided to continue that again."
Helping students get back on track after a possibly detrimental midterm season and help them prepare for a successful finals season is what Henke said he hopes the event introduces students to as well.
Henke said the event could have possibly reconnected the DSO with students who have previously used their services and welcomed newcomers as well.
“[My favorite part] I think [is] definitely interacting with the students, specifically with our office,” Henke said. “We typically meet with students just one time, because then we connect them to other campus resources that might be the best place to serve them. So by being able to reconnect with them and see them again and see that they’re being successful here on campus is really rewarding.”