Welcome surprise

Care packages kick off first week

All Claremont McKenna College students received a surprise gift in the mail this week.

A 5-pound care package arrived chock-full of CMC goodies. The shiny brown box included a 6-foot round blanket (for social distancing), blue block glasses (for Zooming), four CMC folders, an academic planner and notepad (for class organization), and magnets, stickers, and other CMC-branded desk supplies. The 340 first-year students received a tumbler as a welcome to CMC bonus.

“We know our students really miss being on campus,” said Devon MacIver, associate dean of students for student engagement, “and we miss them too. These are reminders of their Claremont McKenna home. If we can’t all be together, we want our students to have CMC tokens they can enjoy this semester.”

Kira Hirsch ’23, tries on a pair of blue light blocking glasses from her care package.
Kira Hirsch ’23, tries on a pair of blue light blocking glasses from her care package.

Special touches like the care package speak volumes to students like Sydney Smith ’23, of San Antonio. “It’s a nice reminder that CMC cares and wants to make sure we feel connected to the CMC community regardless of the physical distance that currently separates us.”

Kira Hirsch ’23 of San Diego agrees. “I’m glad CMC is adding this personal touch to an otherwise impersonal semester. I think it demonstrates a higher level of investment in students’ lives and success no matter what current path they are on.”

Students normally receive boxloads of CMC-branded swag during the first couple of weeks of classes on campus, distributed at club fairs, orientations, and institute open houses.

“It creates an informal sense of community and connection,” MacIver said. “A student might put a CPB sticker on their laptop and then connect with another student at The Hub, who went to a CPB event the night before. Our community is small, and this is how students meet one another.”

San Francisco Bay Area student Sophie Dorkin ’23 got the message: “The gift boxes are a nice gesture from CMC and highlight the idea of connection for students who may not be near one another.”

CMC staff members prepare gift packages for students inside McKenna Auditorium.
CMC staff members prepare gift packages for students inside McKenna Auditorium.

A few student favorites in the care package:

  • Kira Hirsch ’23: “I am such a fan of writing things down, so when I realized that CMC had sent us the planner that normally only goes out to freshmen, I was pretty excited. I loved the planner last year, and I was actually thinking about buying a new one from the Huntley this year!”
  • Sophie Dorkin ’23: “My favorite item in the box is the 6-foot, social distancing-dot blanket. I felt like it was very trendy and very useful for wherever students may try to go. It also lightens a tough situation and reminds us that we will get through it.”
  • Sydney Smith ’23: “The blue light glasses for sure! I will be spending so much time on the computer this semester between classes and assignments, so these will be very useful. Also, I am excited that all the blue light doubters will have a chance to try these super stylish glasses.”

-Gilien Silsby