In just a few short days, we begin our Spring Term. Much has changed in our world since Lawrence originally announced that we were extending spring break and moving to distance learning for the remainder of the year. During that time, our community has been hard at work preparing to house the roughly 185 students who remain on campus, to ensure that our faculty and students are prepared to engage distance learning on Monday, and to maintain the daily work necessary to support the mission of our institution. Know that we remain committed to delivering the rigorous and supportive educational experience that you have come to expect from Lawrence. Of course, while the way we engage may change, our commitment to a supportive, collaborative, and meaningful experience remains.
Before sharing details regarding the start of term, I’d like to take a moment to thank the staff, faculty, students, parents, alumni, and friends for all of their work, patience, and support as we’ve come together during this difficult time. In the past few weeks, we have seen staff assist with student moves, more donations to our food pantry to support students who remain on campus, and Lawrentians continuing to tutor Appleton public school students through virtual means. The goodwill that so many of you have displayed towards our University and each other has been remarkable and speaks to the wonderful community we have developed together.
As I noted above, roughly 185 students will remain on campus during spring term. Like our students who are off-campus, these students will all participate in distance learning and will access needed resources, such as the library or Center for Academic Success (CAS), remotely like their classmates. We are adhering to social distancing guidelines and have begun the relocation process to house each student in an individual room within three residence halls on campus: Coleman, Hiett, and Kohler.
On-campus resources like the Café continue provide food for students; the Food Pantry is moving to Raymond House temporarily and will be accessible for several hours each week; Health and Wellness Services are available via phone and email; and Brokaw Central is available to students as needed (telephonically and virtually). Be reminded that many of our offices are physically closed, but staff and faculty are working remotely in most cases and are accessible. Hours of on-campus offices are available on the COVID-19 News blog.
We are working closely with members of Campus Services to ensure that access to academic and administrative buildings is available to faculty and staff who may need to work in their offices, labs, or studios. Campus Services has increased its cleaning schedule to ensure that our campus’ most trafficked areas and residential halls are cleaned and sanitized frequently, helping to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and ensuring the safety of our community members on campus.
We are also working hard to ensure that all Lawrentians are supported, whether they are living on campus, at their homes, or at another remote location. Support services like the CAS, Center for Career, Life, and Community Engagement, Brokaw Central, International Student Services, Technology Services’ Help Desk and Mudd Library, and others are still available to students. I encourage you to visit each office’s webpage for more information on how to utilize their services if needed. I also encourage you to stay in close contact with your faculty advisor and professors, coaches, and other mentors during this time. While we may not be together in Appleton, we are still here for you and will work to ensure that you have a supportive and meaningful Lawrence experience.
It is imperative that we continue to practice physical distancing no matter where we are; we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect others and ourselves by staying home whenever possible and practice proper safety measures. It is also important that we stay connected to each other over the next few months. Please stay in touch with your friends and colleagues, follow Lawrence social media channels, submit tips in the LU Insider, and host Zoom hangouts with your friends. Please continue to encourage and support each other!
Now that Spring Term is upon us, we on campus are now working through various ways we can continue to sustain our close-knit community. Some community members have already started reaching out to Lawrentians around the globe—coaches are hosting virtual workouts for their teams; the Conservatory is hosting a live Deep Listening session every Tuesday on Facebook; and a special Trivia weekend has been planned by Trivia Masters. Take advantage of these and other opportunities as they become available. Remember, we are stronger together!
I do want to take a moment to give a special shout-out to the Class of 2020. I share your disappointment that your final term is not what you hoped it would be. But do remember that one term will not define your Lawrence experiences and accomplishments. Your engagements, contributions, persistence, and impact have been a part of the relationship between you and Lawrence since you first joined our community. You have shaped our collective experience in more ways than you can imagine! You are in the forefront of my mind as we work to ensure that our community stays connected.
Please remember to visit the COVID-19 News blogfor the most up-to-date information regarding our campus community and our response to the pandemic, and be sure to read the LU Insider, which not only includes important information for our campus but also tips for and celebrations of our campus community.
We look forward to seeing you soon, either virtually or in person.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Vice President for Student Life