Students at Elon University (NC) have been teaching their peers about valuable skills and hobbies since 2007 as part of the Burst the Bubble program. Non-credit course offerings, which are free and student-led, are available during the winter term, meeting three times for an hour each. This January, classes have been held on topics from wire jewelry-making to book discussions, and more. Facilitators were provided a budget to cover costs. And the idea is to help students make connections that might not have been made otherwise.

“A goal of mine is to establish a sense of community,” said student facilitator Sarah Rusthoven, in talking with Today at Elon. “I feel like in the past few years, especially since Covid, it’s been so hard to create community on campus. During my freshman year, there was so much involvement on campus. And now with incoming grades, there’s just less of it. It’s a trend Elon is seeing. I think it’s important now more than ever to create spaces on campus where people feel that genuine sense of community and feel safe. I hope new students are able to find their places here at Elon.”

Students interested in teaching Burst the Bubble programs submit proposals during the fall. If they’re selected, registration for their classes opens on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis. Faculty and staff members aren’t involved in the courses; students do the teaching and the connecting.

Read more about Burst the Bubble courses at Elon here.