Cal Poly Pen Pal Program Event Spotlight: Letter Writing, It’s Exciting!
By: Ixchel Urbano, SDSU Chapter Member
The California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo’s Executive Board of Women in Science Society brought a wonderful passtime to members throughout the nation when they launched the WSS Pen Pal Program in July 2020. The purpose of the program was to connect and engage WSS members from Chapters nationwide in conversation through handwritten letters. Letter writing was an especially sweet activity to participate in, as many have found themselves spending more time communicating through social media platforms during quarantine. This breath of fresh air brought newfound friendships and perspective to members throughout Women in Science Society who took part in the program!
Prior to launching the Pen Pal Program, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Executive Board spent a lot of time carefully creating the structure of the program to ensure members would have successful letter writing experiences. Some of the preparation that went into developing the program were extra Executive Board meetings during the summer, and creating plans to get the message out to all Chapters nationwide. The Executive Board also worked to promote letter writing as an authentic source of communication rather than the archaic novelty it is often referred to in comparison to electronic communication. The most important part of developing the program was the Executive Board believeing in their idea and feeling excited to bring to members an opportunity to be creative and bond with college students outside their respective Chapters.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Executive Board’s hard work came to fruition when they received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback and participation in their Pen Pal Program. Nationwide, over forty WSS members participated in letter writing across five different universities. Every member participating had up to two pen pals, and were able to build friendships with people they had never met!
The Pen Pal program is an exciting and ongoing opportunity for all WSS members. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Executive Board plans to expand the program throughout the Fall, by promoting it to new and older members in WSS who may have not participated in the Summer. They encourage members who may be shy to the idea of letter writing to be open minded, because chances are this is a new activity to everyone! The beauty of taking part in the Pen Pal program is as a collective group of women in science, many most likely have a good amount of common interest and will grow friendships fast.
It is exciting for our members of WSS to have a program to make friendships outside their Chapter with college women nationwide. WSS Nationals is incredibly proud of the success Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Executive Board has had with their Pen Pal Program and look forward to seeing its continued growth in the Fall semester!