A message to students from Byron Hughes, dean of students
March 16, 2020
Dear Hokie Students,
We know there are many difficulties (and some anxiety) that come with the recent transition to online coursework for the remainder of this semester. Like other offices on campus, the Dean of Students Office will be available to you as the semester proceeds. There are going to be some complexities that come along as your routine as a student changes. Here are several tips that we hope can make your experience easier to manage:
- Online classes will require you to pace yourself and communicate regularly with instructors. If you have any difficulty, please reach out to your academic advisor or your college’s dean’s office to get assistance.
- Whether you’re completing your semester in Blacksburg or somewhere else, please know that you can connect with most offices virtually. Many offices will utilize Zoom or video call services to make the connection feel more personal.
- We know that being in class, studying together, playing intramurals, or participating in clubs together is the way you find community with your friends. While the transition to online classes will change this, we hope that you will find ways to remain appropriately connected with each other.
- If you decide to remain in Blacksburg living on campus or off campus, Student Affairs services and offices will still be available to assist you using appropriate public health guidelines which will include Zoom or video call services.
- If this is your final semester as a student, we understand the disappointment you may feel. One way to make sure your final weeks are memorable is to know the personal and academic changes you are making are putting the whole community’s needs ahead of your individual desires. This is Ut Prosim at its finest.
- As always, follow the good advice of Schiffert Health Center and take proper steps to keep yourself (and others) healthy and well.
We know most students that live on campus will choose to remain at their primary residence or someplace away from Blacksburg. THIS IS A PUBLIC HEALTH IMPERATIVE. IF YOU HAVE THE OPTION NOT TO RETURN TO BLACKSBURG, PLEASE TAKE IT. For our off-campus students that are obligated to fulfill a lease, we understand the compelling reason you may have to stay. The goal of our transition to online coursework is to reduce our current public health crisis. While we want students to remain in community with each other, we also know that social distancing greatly reduces exposure to COVID-19 as detailed on our university status page.
As the weather gets warmer and you look for ways to interact socially, please be aware that being proactive and utilizing good prevention will help you, and the friends you care about, remain healthy. In the spirit of Ut Prosim, we each have a remarkable opportunity to elevate public health need over engaging others in high-density spaces. Consider this when you are with friends or deciding how to utilize the free time you will have.
Whatever we can do within the Dean of Students Office to help you succeed during this semester – please let us know. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), call (540-231-3787), or message us on social media so we can help you persist to the end!
For continued updates regarding our COVID-19 response.
Read this letter to students from the Town of Blacksburg.
In the spirit of Ut Prosim,
Dean of Students