December 4, 2020
We are almost there! Thanks to your spectacular efforts, we were able to successfully finish our in-person portion of the semester. I have never been as proud of our students as I have this fall. Your determination and resilience have repeatedly inspired me as, together, we have faced the challenges this pandemic has sent our way.
And we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The first of the vaccines is going through the Emergency Use Authorization process that will allow us finally to begin to protect ourselves from this deadly virus. My strong hope, tempered as it must be by the uncertainties still remaining with the distribution schedule of vaccines, is that we will have a normal semester next fall.
I write today to give you a bit of good news about next semester, and to provide some resources to ensure you can get to the end of this semester successfully.
First, the good news. I have heard from many students that the long stretch without a fall break was a particular challenge. The spring semester must, of necessity, look a lot like the fall, but through the creativity of our registrar, Mark McConahay, we have been able to add three wellness days to the spring semester without disrupting the requirements of accreditation. Those dates in the 2021 spring semester are Tuesday, Feb. 16, Wednesday, March 24, and Thursday, April 22, and they were chosen to break somewhat evenly across the in-person segment of the spring academic calendar. (The Martin Luther King, Jr., Day holiday occurs on the first day of spring term). These will be days without classes that will allow you to catch your breath and catch up.
I hope this is a bit of encouraging news for all of you. In addition, I am delighted that we have been able to continue the Big 10 Course Sharing program into the spring semester. These courses, offered by partner Big 10 universities, may be taken for no additional cost and for credit here at IU. Check out the spring courses here.
Second, I’d like to offer encouragement during this final stretch of the semester. If you are facing unanticipated academic challenges in one or more of your courses, I encourage you to contact an academic advisor immediately to see if there are steps you can take to make it to a successful conclusion of your classes. Here is a list of resources that you should draw on freely to get through exams:
Support and Resources for all Hoosiers
Facing an issue that is affecting your ability to succeed academically at IU? Contact the Student Advocates Office.
Concerned for yourself or a friend? If you aren’t sure where to turn, submit a Care Referral. The Care Team in the Division of Student Affairs will help provide support, and connect you and/or your friend to the appropriate resource(s).
Stuck in Quarantine and feeling lonely? Try the Quarantine Connections or check out other ways to connect in our Off-Campus Quarantine and Isolation Resources. This web-based guide provides several resources specifically for students who are in quarantine or isolation. Resources range from academic support to mental health and wellness.
Looking for a way to get moving where you are? Try the Rec Sports Home Workouts.
Concerned about your mental health? Do you need to talk to someone? CAPS is available by phone or video and has appointments available. Call 812-855-5711 to schedule your appointment or schedule online here Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). The CAPS crisis line is available after hours by calling 812-855-5711 and selecting option 1. You can also attend CAPS workshops or groups , available online, and sign up for the CAPS monthly newsletter here.
Looking for mental health support? Check out the WellTrack App, a mental health resource available to all IU students that uses tools to help you identify and address issues such as stress, resilience, anxiety, and/or depression.
At home and need help? Find a provider in your community. ShrinkSpace is the search tool for students to look for providers at home – especially those out-of-state that might lose connection with their CAPS therapist.
Need help navigating your lease or legal issue? Student Legal Services is here to provide you free legal support.
Need an accommodation? Disability Services for Students is here for you.
Need a doctor? The Student Health Center is still open and available for your medical needs. Visit the Student Health Center’s website to learn more about services available both in-person and virtually. Call 812-855-7688 or book your appointment online.
Try Art Therapy. Art therapy focuses on using the creative process to promote health and well-being. Visit the Eskenazi Museum of Art web page to learn more or to participate in an upcoming session, or connect with the museum’s art therapist to plan an activity for your organization.
Need to Drop a Course? While I encourage you to get to the end of the semester, I understand that this is an unusual semester for all of us. The faculty have passed a policy that is designed to help if you simply cannot finish one of your classes successfully for any reason, and it can be found here.
Let me say again how very very proud I am of all of you, and how much I wish you the very best for exams this semester. Have a wonderful break, get lots of rest, and I will see you again in the spring.
With gratitude and admiration,