‘Here’ ambassadors to welcome ND community this fall

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Students, faculty and staff returning to campus this fall will be greeted by some familiar faces in new roles: Here Ambassadors. These long-standing members of the Notre Dame family will be ready to assist as we navigate new measures to help keep our campus healthy and safe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

You’ll be able to spot ambassadors, in their Notre Dame polos and “Here” name tags and masks, especially in high-traffic areas — responding to needs, questions, comments and concerns. They’ll also monitor the cleanliness and functionality of spaces while offering friendly reminders to wear masks and maintain a safe physical distance from others (for example, while waiting in line). 

“They will be able to foresee any concerns and work to mitigate them immediately,” says Lee Sicinski, associate vice president of University Events.“The ambassadors can answer questions and relay information.”

More than 40 ambassadors will take part in a comprehensive training program at the end of July so they are ready to greet students, families, faculty and staff when the fall semester begins in early August. They’ll be present in and around social gathering places such as Duncan Student Center, the Hesburgh Library, LaFortune Student Center, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, the Main Building and very active classroom areas. 

“This program is part of our commitment to our community — to watch over each other, to lift each other up as we acknowledge a different set of behavior norms,” says Micki Kidder, vice president for University Enterprises and Events. “And we will do this in a way that is distinctly Notre Dame.”

Ambassadors will encourage this behavior change, and reward people for displaying that behavior, with what Sicinski refers to as “spot awards.” These awards will be small tokens of acknowledgement that good practices are being observed.

It is anticipated that the program will run through the end of the fall semester. Kidder and Sicinski recognize the ambassadors as key players to the effective reopening of campus, with safety and a successful semester as everyone’s number one goal. 

“Ambassadors embody Notre Dame values and spirit and look to continue that through safely engaging with students, faculty and staff this fall,”  Kidder said.