“Ball State is really coming from a community standpoint and paying it forward, that’s really part of our overall campus mission. This is what we’ve always embraced and our students and staff do that naturally, so I think in this particular circumstance it was second nature to say ‘this is the role we play.’” – Beth Goetz, Ball State, Athletic Director
Ball State fans might spot some familiar faces in neighborhoods as social distancing becomes the norm. Cardinals coaches and athletics staffers will be making runs for groceries and more. AD, Beth Goetz, talked with CollegeAD about the Ball State Athletics program called Cardinal Couriers. She says they are looking for ways to serve not just students and staff, but the community at large, amid coronavirus concerns.
“This became one of those ideas as we were looking for ways to serve. We’ve had a few calls so far, but now with the stay-at-home order, we are expecting things to ramp up as we move forward.”
Cardinal Couriers will use volunteers who are a part of Ball State Athletics to help fans whose health can be potentially compromised during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
“It started with a simple conversation of what’s going on out there, out in groceries stores and in neighborhoods. It was an idea shared with the staff and we have staff members say, ‘absolutely we can put together a program that addresses that issue.’ Our community is like many others around the country, we have a population that could use that service.”
Those who need to use the Cardinal Couriers program can do so by making a request online through a form on Ball State Athletics’ website or by calling 765-285-1421. Each request will be reviewed, and if it’s something that can possibly be carried out and something that can be done in a way that adheres to city, county and state government safety guidelines, a volunteer will be dispatched to fulfill it.
“In accordance with our Governor’s executive order, programs like this would still be permitted to run. We’ve had lots of volunteers and we are rotating through everyone. It’s staff only, but it warms my heart that we’ve had so many injuries from student-athletes wanting to volunteer. But right now, it’s staff only.”
And while helping the public, those volunteers will follow social distancing policies, wear gloves and sanitize regularly prior to, during and after the delivery.
Goetz says assisting the student-athletes that have had to stay on campus, as well as those who’ve been able to go home, is also a top priority.
“Assisting them, engaging with them, putting together as much structure as we can. Our classes have transitioned to online so we have a really robust continuance of education. And our mentoring programs have transitioned to the virtual space as well. We’ve asked our coaches to put together comprehensive contact plans and they are doing a variety of interactions with them. Some are general check-ins and others are asking them to post videos for teammates. Our staff has put together videos and workouts that can be done in home as well as making sure they have mental health resources.”