This is not the spring semester any of us could have envisioned. We surely are living in unprecedented times, and I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the uncertainty that many of us are facing due to the rapid pace of change occurring not only at W&M, but also in our local communities, nationally, and globally. Now more than ever, I trust that our powerful sense of community will help sustain us, even as we adapt to new ways of connecting, learning, and affirming belonging.
As the week begins here in Williamsburg, our top priority is supporting students as on-line learning commences and as we prepare for the closing of Residence Halls on Wednesday. Some of you have sought to understand better our decision not to keep any dorms open, especially for international students. We continue to be guided first and foremost by the advice of our local health authorities. Indeed, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our community. Given the growing number of Covid-19 cases in our surrounding area, including in our campus community, we recognized that our residence halls are unsuitable for long term self-quarantine and self-isolation, which will be necessary in the weeks ahead; additionally, we are not staffed to provide a high level of health care and living support for students under pandemic conditions.
Students who are having difficulty implementing their personal evacuation plans under these unprecedented circumstances, will be helped on an individual basis, and we will deploy emergency funds wherever possible to ease the financial burden as students await housing, dining, and parking rebates (detailed information about rebates will be sent soon in a separate message). A compilation of resources was created and shared last week with all students who had alerted us to their urgent need; the Dean of Students and Reves Center teams are following up with those students by phone today to determine what needs have yet to be met. All students who alerted us should be contacted by the end of the day. Many of you have reached out and expressed compassion and concern for your fellow students who may be in need -- please be assured that no student will be without shelter when the residence halls close on March 25. If you, yourself, are a dorm resident who is having difficulty with your plan for moving out by Wednesday and you have not notified the Dean of Students Office, please do so right away by clicking here.
It is my sincere hope that each of you will tap into tools and resources that you have found work best for you during trying times. Below are some additional resources that you may find helpful as you transition to our new online educational environment:
From Health & Wellness
The departments of Health & Wellness have created a Virtual Health & Wellness site. We have posted programs, videos and articles to enhance your wellness and resilience, including live wellness and fitness programs. Last week over 160 people join our first live, remote yoga class! Our live programs will be recorded to be used at your convenience. Be sure to visit our Virtual Health & Wellness site where you will find an article by Dr. Kelly Crace on Flourishing during Unexpected, Uncertain, and Unwanted Change. And please download the W&M Wellness App to stay current on all events and resources.
From the Dean of Students Office
While William & Mary is operating on a modified academic schedule, all the departments of the Dean of Students Office are available via phone (757) 221-2510 and email. Additionally, we will have the capability of scheduling meetings with students remotely via phone or Zoom. We want to support your success as we transition online. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to visit our website for a full listing of our departments to help in your success.
- Academic Enrichment Programs produced a “Keep Learning” video to assist with learning online
- Academic Advising has helpful tips on their website Studying with Distance Learning
- Report Issues and Concerns
- Get Help Now
- The Haven
- WM Police Department
In the days and weeks ahead, stay connected with us and with one another. We will continue to reach out to you with updates and information we think you may find useful. Best wishes as W&M moves forward into this new virtual educational environment. Remember that we are in this together -- all W&M offices are "open" and we are here for you.
Ginger AmblerVirginia M. Ambler, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs
William & Mary