Communications

Communications sent to the campus from the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students will be posted to this page.

Storrs Campus COVID Positive Test Rate Comparative Report

Subject: Storrs Campus COVID Positive Test Rate Comparative Report

Dear Huskies,

I’ve got some (more) great news.  I know you appreciated seeing your data the last time I wrote you.  With that in mind, the SHaW medical team and I put this together.  Take a look:

UConn Storrs Campus COVID Positive Test Rate Comparative Report

That’s right.  We have not had one on-campus residential positive COVID-19 test in 8 days.  That includes all “point of care” tests (students who come to SHaW for care when they are feeling sick) and surveillance testing (students who are not symptomatic and are selected to come for testing in the Field House, or who come to be tested on their own). This includes the results of over 2000 tests since October 1st.  Our residential population is healthier than the country and the state.

Wow.  I feel really confident about this measure of our health.  There has been some concern expressed in the state about students getting tested off campus and not disclosing results to their university.  Fortunately, at UConn we have two great partnerships going for us.  First, our relationship with the Connecticut State Department of Public Health and the Eastern Highlands Health District is such that any COVID positive UConn student test result is shared with SHaW – regardless of where you are tested (although the tests are free at UConn).

The second partnership with Microbial Analysis, Resources, and Services (MARS), Facilities Operations, and the Institute for Systems Genomics shows us that our waste water testing present trace levels of COVID-19.  Even if you aren’t tested through surveillance testing at UConn, well, you do contribute to our waste water system.  We are healthy.  And I am so proud of our collective efforts to be healthy and together as a community.

However, I want you to look at the second line of the graph.  The off-campus testing results.  Also impressive and below the state and national levels.  Yet higher than the on-campus rate.  I want you to know why.

Not entirely, but that’s the result of one off-campus gathering that was in violation of the governor’s orders for indoor gatherings. Five positive cases resulted.  We cannot take chances.  When we take off our masks and gather closely together, we get sick.   Sick with an illness that has touched the lives of millions and hobbled our country. When student actions are reported to the University that endanger the health and safety of others, they will be referred to Community Standards for review.

That brings me to Halloween.  It would be nice to have a day off from COVID. I’m afraid we can’t.  The off-campus data shows us that’s just not the case.

Walking around campus, I see how UConn perseveres through your actions: virtual communities, S’mores, movie nights at Sherman field, and fitness classes show how we continue to build community and be our best Huskies during this challenging time.  As students, you have brought that life to campus, you have shown everyone how much your university means to you, and you have kept us safe and healthy.  Please continue to stay active and involved in our uKindness initiative.

I know this is hard and can take a toll on your mental health.  Monday night, participants in the UConn NAACP chapter’s town hall reemphasized the need for us to do all we can to support the mental health of our students. I agree and this is something UConn works at every day. As Dean Heller and I conclude the final report of the President’s Mental Health Task Force, we will have more to share about this important topic.  For now, please know that SHaW Mental Health is available to you and there is availability for telemedicine appointments.

I am so grateful to all of you and how much you care for one another.  Let’s keep it up, UConn.

My best,

 

Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

COVID at UConn: Continuing On Our Path to Success

Subject: COVID at UConn: Continuing On Our Path to Success

Dear Huskies,

We keep doing this.

I wanted to take a moment and share with you that, over the course of the last several days, our positivity rate has dropped to less than one percent.  These results include over 1,400 COVID-19 tests administered by Student Health and Wellness on the Storrs campus during the period of September 28-October 2.

COVID test results table

The students included in this testing include residential and non-residential students on the Storrs campus.  This low positivity rate is supported by our pooled and wastewater sampling.

In a time of increased rates of infection, UConn has proven to be an outlier.  With one of the largest residential populations and rate of in-person learning among flagships in the region, we have one of the lowest rates of COVID infection as of today.

We have done this together and I am particularly grateful to the students who have joined our exceptional medical and residential teams in this work.  Together, we have followed universal precautions such as mask wearing and physical distancing.  Together, you have made sacrifices including periodic quarantining, participating in pooled and surveillance testing, and, when necessary, isolation.

I am incredibly grateful to our students.  UConn’s plans, protocols, and practices can only be effective if our community follows them. The vast majority of you did. Thank you for all that you have done to keep us safe and open.  You have consistently made concessions and sacrifices as you keep yourself and other Huskies safe.  We all love UConn and, because of your efforts, we remain open.

But: this is not over. There is much ahead.  Your continued due diligence always matters.  As Halloween approaches, please keep in mind recent DPH guidance.  It is critical that we avoid large gatherings and smaller inside gatherings.  I know UConn loves Halloween and I’m thankful to students and colleagues who will be announcing safe and fun programming throughout Halloween weekend on the uKindness website.

As students, you have defied all stereotypes associated with risky behavior.  Of course you have.  You should be proud and I am thankful for the future you will lead following the challenges of this pandemic.

I remain grateful to all of you.  And concerned for your health.  Please continue to be safe, care for one another, and follow our UConn Promise.

Yours,

 

Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD

Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

 

Provost’s Message: Working Together to Move Forward

Dear UConn Community:

COVID-19 and the return to the UConn learning experience have presented our university with unprecedented challenges. We write today to celebrate our ability to maintain our core values, give you more information about the presence of COVID on our campuses, and indicate our path forward.

COVID-19 at UConn

We have learned a great deal over the past several weeks about balancing community well-being and educational progress in the midst of COVID-19. Together, we have used our strength as a research university to solve a complex problem and reopen UConn safely. We are grateful to the partnerships that have emerged throughout our campuses, administration, student and campus services, UConn Health, and the academic schools and colleges.

Our current infection rate is around 1%. This is a remarkable accomplishment. To date, our spread among students is because of small interactions such as card games, common meals, and other informal interactions. For all of us, our risk of spread is avoidable through our own individual actions, as expressed in the UConn Promise. This includes monitoring your health, participating in random surveillance testing, following guidelines for mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing, and heeding medical guidance provided by your primary medical provider. These are all especially important as we head into colder weather and spend more time indoors.

While we are hardly declaring victory, it is important to acknowledge the hard work of our community to promote safety in maintaining a largely safe and healthy environment on our campuses.

UConn Research and Innovation

As we planned for reopening this fall semester, we benefitted from workgroups that were enriched by the research talents of many partners, including InCHIP, Institute for Systems Genomics, MARS, CLEAR, and our epidemiology expertise in UConn Health.

We encourage you to learn more about these intersections of research and practice through upcoming events. InCHIP is hosting a series of panels, detailed on their website. The Provost’s Office is also hosting a research forum that features panelists involved in the innovative work in wastewater testing and pooled sampling on the Storrs campus, managed collaboratively among MARS, Institute for Systems Genomics, CLEAR, and Student Health and Wellness. This forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 5 to 6 p.m. More information is available on the Provost’s Office website. We welcome suggestions for future panels via provost@uconn.edu.

The Path Forward

Plans are underway for the spring term, which we are approaching with optimism and humility, working closely with many organizations, including the Senate Executive Committee, AAUP, UCPEA, and USG. We expect to make key decisions prior to the opening of registration in late October building on what we have learned from the fall semester.

Spring will likely be quite similar to the fall with continued decreased residential occupancy (currently around 5,000 students at Storrs) and continued medical due diligence through testing and surveillance. Students received a message today with more details on housing availability, including the option to retain their housing assignment from fall to spring.

Student events and activities continue to be guided by activities and program information that is available here. We have learned that building safe and connected campuses is enhanced by small in-person and virtual activities, examples of which appear on the uKindness site. We welcome all campuses and departments to submit events and activities to uKindness.

We are grateful to students, including leadership in USG and GSS who have shared thoughts on maintaining a meaningful connection between instructors and students in the spring, and many other critical university actions.

Our physical and mental health are deeply entwined and many are experiencing stress during this time. Students are reminded and encouraged to utilize SHaW-Mental Health resources. Faculty and staff are reminded of the support provided through the Employee Assistance Program.

Thank you, UConn, for your combined effort in keeping us safe and allowing us to return to in-person learning and research. Thanks to all of you, we are in this for the long haul.

Sincerely,

Carl and Elly

 

Carl Lejuez
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Eleanor JB Daugherty
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

 

 

Good News for UConn’s Health

Subject: Good News for UConn's Health

Dear Huskies,

I am happy to share that, due to the conscientious actions of our Garrigus residents, the building has been lifted from residential quarantine.

As you know, over two weeks ago the positive COVID-19 cases confirmed from Garrigus testing resulted in a disproportionately high number of positives when compared with the remainder of the campus.  Student Health and Wellness determined that it was necessary to test the entire building, continue surveillance testing, and place the building in quarantine.  That quarantine prevented students from engaging in in-person learning and in-person dining until our spread was contained.

After careful monitoring and compliance, we have achieved our goal of halting the spread of the virus in Garrigus.  This is a heroic undertaking for everyone.  Together, we flattened the curve.

Our residential community has been open, safe, and healthy for four weeks.  A month.  It is honest to say that many of us wondered if we would reach this place as a community.  The only way we have been able to achieve this success, so far, is through our collective care and concern for one another.  We must not stop.

As always, I remind you that the spread of COVID-19 at UConn is up to us to control.  We have consistently reported low infection rates of less than 1% in our residential community.  As students, you have been vigilant and you have given up a great deal to maintain a healthy campus.  That being said, spread occurs at UConn among those who are not consistently wearing masks and not keeping 6 feet of distance from one another.  The spread of COVID-19 is not forgiving: the efforts we need to take are both that simple and that important.  Let’s keep doing what we do: staying open and staying healthy.

A couple of reminders:

  • Medical Clearance:  Any student who is in isolation needs to be medically cleared by SHaW.  Once cleared, their health is no longer considered a risk to themselves or to the campus community and they should be welcomed back to the UConn community. Students in quarantine may re-enter the campus community when they reach the end of their quarantine period. No clearance is necessary.
  • Community: Student Affairs has done incredible work building safe and healthy ways to connect virtually and in person as a community.  Please continue to refer (and submit!) to the uKindness
  • Dining:  Effective Wednesday, September 16th at 7:00 am, Putnam Dining will return to normal operations and will be open to all students that have a meal plan. We would like to thank everyone for their flexibility while Putnam was utilized for the residents of Garrigus Suites.
  • Address information: It is important, particularly for off campus residents, that we have your current local address.  Please update your “current address” field with your Storrs/Mansfield address if you are living off-campus.

As I write this, I am mindful that COVID-19 is not over.  We are in this for the long haul and much will continue to be asked of all of us.  As you know, the Oaks apartment complex is now in quarantine.  They, too, must take the same steps taken by the Garrigus residents to ensure their health is safeguarded.

Be safe, my friends.  Be well.  Let’s do this.

Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Labor Day Concerns

Subject: Labor Day Concerns

Dear Huskies,

I need to bring serious concerns to your attention immediately.

I have just completed a call with our outstanding Student Health & Wellness medical team.  Our most recent surveillance test results of over 350 students have revealed 13 new positive cases.  This is a concern as we enter the Labor Day weekend.

I learned this morning that state police responded to two different off-campus gatherings last night.  These gatherings will be reviewed by the Office of Community Standards for violations of the Student Code.  An initial update from the state police is not definitive, but it is worrisome.  Please be assured that off-campus activities are as endangering to the health and safety of others as on campus and they will be reviewed in that light.

The vast majority of our students are being careful and following health guidelines. However, those who aren’t are getting sick or getting others sick.

The majority of these 13 positive cases were already identified by SHaW as being a close contact of another positive student and were in quarantine.  This is a good indication of the success of contact tracing in anticipating the likelihood of future positive cases and reducing risk to the greater community.  Second, it is another point of affirmation that our students are freely disclosing their close contacts when interviewed by SHaW staff and ensuring their friends are provided prompt access to care.  For that, as always, I thank you for your due diligence and care for one another.

Whether the gatherings are large or small, I must again share with you that these exposures occur when individuals are in close contact with one another – less than six feet – and not wearing a mask.  This is as simple as having a few friends in your room and playing card games, video games, watching Netflix – things that I am sure many of us can relate to.  These acts appear innocent and understandable during a time when so much has been sacrificed.  They are not innocent and they are putting your health and the health of others at risk.

Today is a beautiful day.  I want you to enjoy it.  But we must not relax the universal precautions that we know keep our community safe: wear a mask, stay with your family unit, maintain physical distance, and remain on campus this weekend.

Be safe, my friends.  We’ve made it this far- let’s not stop now.

My best,

Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD

Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students

 

Student Access to Testing

Dear Storrs Students,

Our combined commitment to keep our campuses healthy and halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community continues.  I write today to update you on our work to practice routine surveillance testing.

For large residential campuses such as ours, practicing routine surveillance is an obligation of the reopening plan provided to the state Department of Public Health.  UConn-Storrs surveillance obligations include routinely testing non-symptomatic students on our campus.  Students are randomly selected to participate in surveillance testing by Student Health and Wellness.  All students are encouraged to be tested regardless of whether they have been randomly selected.

NON-Symptomatic Testing:

On-Campus Testing:

September 8-10:

Hours: 9am-1pm
Location: South Campus tent, in front of Rome

September 14-November 20
Hours: 9am-3pm
Location: Field House
Note: Student will be able to schedule a testing appointment beginning later this week through SHaW.

Off-Campus Testing (organized by Eastern Highlands Health District):

September 9
Hours: 2-6pm
Location: Betsy Patterson Square

Pooled Sampling Testing:

Student Health and Wellness is involved in an innovative partnership with the UConn Institute for System Genomics and MARS that will launch a pooled sampling strategy for non-symptomatic students.  This approach significantly increases the number of individuals that can be tested in a short period of time.

Starting this week, SHaW will launch and eventually expand pooled sampling.  Students will provide a saliva sample in a tube.  Samples from multiple individuals are then pooled together or batched into one sample and then tested.  If a pooled sample is negative, all individuals in that pooled sample are deemed negative.  If the pooled sample is positive, then all the individuals in that pool will need to have a CoV2 diagnostic test provided by SHaW. For residential students, pooled sample saliva kits will be distributed and collected in your residential hall.  The expanded pooled sampling will include designated sites for saliva sampling around campus for non-residential students that will be promoted through the Daily Digest.

Symptomatic Testing

If you are a student experiencing any symptoms, regardless of whether you live on or off campus, please contact the SHaW Advice Nurse at 860-486-4700.  The Advice Nurse is available to Storrs students 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Coming Up:

Your continued good health matters –particularly as we enter flu season. SHaW will be in touch regarding flu clinics later this month.  It is important that you receive the flu vaccine.

Our connection to each other and building a health-minded community is so important during this time.  I am happy to share that, because of our good health and precautionary behavior such as mask wearing and physical distancing, Student Activities will begin hosting small in person activities while also increasing awareness of virtual and in-person events through the uKindess site.  More to come!

In closing, I thank you for your commitment to the UConn Promise and to caring for one another.  Remember that a test result reflects your health in a moment in time.  A test result should never be seen as replacing the need for universal precautions such as mask wearing, physical distancing of 6 feet, and good hygiene.

Thank you for all that you do to keep us healthy, open, and safe.  Every action makes a difference.

All good things,

 

Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

 

A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion at UConn

Subject: A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion at UConn

The following message is being sent from Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Eleanor JB Daugherty and Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Frank Tuitt:

The beginning of the academic year is a time when we are reminded of the uniqueness of our UConn community.  We are proud that UConn is a place where people are able to learn about and appreciate the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of all of our students.

Over the course of the past several months, we experienced the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—economic insecurity, loss of life, and uncertainty about the future. As a nation, we witnessed the brutal murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery.  This dehumanization of Black people and the senseless violence against people of color are not new. However, the documentation of these killings prompted some of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history against White supremacy, systemic oppression and anti-Black racism. In these unprecedented times, we more than ever need to be intentional about creating spaces for our community to be able process these experiences, learn about the history and impact of such events while holding each other accountable for the harmful behaviors that contradict an antiracist and inclusive environment.

As a university community, we must embrace the expression of varied opinions while also insisting that expression occur in an environment of mutual respect.  The exchange of ideas that occurs throughout our community creates a spirit of dialogue that is not only welcome, but absolutely necessary on university campuses like UConn in order to offer the most engaging and vibrant educational experience to our students. It is through inquiry, the exploration of ideas, and exposure to opinions and opportunities that are new to us that UConn is able to thrive as an academic community in ways that are both challenging and rewarding. This allows us to grow, increase awareness, and inspire change in a complex world.

To facilitate such an environment, our students need to feel empowered and equipped to engage in healthy and effective dialogue on issues such as racial justice, equity, and systemic racism. Consequently, we continue to provide opportunities for our students to learn about and participate in programming that would promote an inclusive and equitable community. For example, the Welcome to the Pack video-based module provides critical information about bias, microaggressions, prejudice, and stereotypes.

It is the responsibility of all of us to steward these values throughout the course of our experience at UConn and beyond.   Through our collective efforts, UConn remains a home for discovery that enables us to fulfill our mission for our students as well as for our state, the nation, and the world.

While free expression is important in having productive dialogue, the University acts when harm occurs to members of our community.  In January of 2015, the University developed its Bias Response Protocol to support students who experience an incident that either is or appears to be bias-related.  Such incidents are shared with the University of Connecticut Police Department and the Office of Community Standards to review for possible criminal and/or violations of  the The Student Code.

In the past academic year, 82 bias referrals were made and all were reviewed by the University.  A summary of the complaints is exhibited here:

Please note that the previous chart reflects all forms of bias reported to the University.  This chart reflects incidents that may be reported twice because two or more actions occurred.

UConn is committed to being one of the world’s leading institutions by encouraging the expression of ideas within a highly diverse community of scholars and students.  We welcome the voices of our students in this important work, and we look forward to another successful academic year.

Best,

Eleanor JB Daugherty
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

Frank Tuitt
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

 

 

Garrigus Residence Hall

Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2020 4:46 PM
Subject:  Message from Provost and Dean of Students (Garrigus Residence Hall)

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Today the University made the important decision to proactively place the Garrigus residence hall under medical quarantine. This was a decision that was thoughtfully and appropriately determined by Student Health and Wellness, with the support of University leadership, after seeing a heightened presence of COVID positive cases among Garrigus residents. This rate is disproportionate to the positive cases we have seen among other residential locations.

Due to a heightened presence of COVID-positive cases among Garrigus residents and in order to minimize the risk and help to effectively control the spread of the virus, UConn Student Health and Wellness has determined that access to Putnam Refectory will be limited to residents of Garrigus Suites until further notice.

Beginning tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 28, all other students with meal plans who dine in residential dining facilities can obtain their meals only at South, McMahon, Northwest and North.

As we know all too well, this is a dynamic time for our campus, our community and our world. The presence of the COVID-19 virus has caused all of us to make sacrifices and adjust some of the fundamental ways we connect with one another.

As we return to class, we will need to do so with physical distance, masking, and virtual learning. These are the realities that we face as we return to in-person instruction. The UConn Promise details the measures we must all take to ensure health and safety.

We must also be vigilant in our care when illness presents among the UConn community. The University COVID Dashboard reflects the reality of positive cases among our students, faculty, and staff.

As we enter the academic term, we are prepared to again take these measures when we need to aggressively control spread of the virus. Students missing class will be accommodated through the Dean of Students office and our regional campus student services colleagues. Faculty will be directly contacted if a student requires some academic accommodation.

Despite our challenges, we look forward to a successful academic term and thank you for your commitment to a healthy UConn.

Our best,

Carl W. Lejeuz, PhD

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

 

Fall 2020 Welcome

Subject: Fall 2020 Welcome

Welcome back.

In many ways, I am amazed that we have gotten to this point of a return to in person learning.  I thank all of you –whether you will be learning on campus or from home- for your continued commitment to keeping us safe.  Your actions matter and I am grateful.

It took so much work for all of us to get to this place.  There is now, however, more work that needs to be done by all of us to keep UConn open.  I need your help.

You have heard me say on many occasions that I believe in you.  I do.  I believe in our love of being Huskies and in our compassion for one another.  I do need to take the time to review with you how seriously these COVID related measures are and how we will be enforcing these expectations during the fall term.

As you know, the world is experiencing a health crisis.  We must follow and enforce increased health and safety measures for the safety of our community.  As a result, it is essential that students observe universal precautions such as mask wearing and physical distancing, follow quarantine and isolation procedures as directed by the university and your medical care provider, and comply with university and state advisories on gathering.

As ordered by Governor Lamont, it is required that UConn students follow Executive Order 7III.  To that end: please note that “willfully refusing or failing to self-quarantine or complete the Travel Health Form truthfully and accurately shall be subject to a civic penalty of up to one thousand dollars.”

As a student traveling from any state impacted by the travel advisory, you are required to participate in the self-quarantine regardless of whether you are residing on or off campus.  As a reminder, upon coming to Connecticut, you are required to complete an on-line travel health form within 24-hours of arrival.  You can find that form at ct.gov/travelform

Now, more than ever, we are reminded of the potential harm poor choices can have upon ourselves and others.  As such, I remind you that your behavior is subject to the Code whether you live on or off campus.  Our enforcement of the Code’s description of endangering behavior is particularly relevant now and will be enforced by the University with mindfulness towards the unique health and safety implications during this pandemic.

The Student Code is available at www.community.uconn.edu.  It is expected that you will familiarize yourself with this document.

All students living in on-campus housing, whether on the Storrs or Stamford campus, will be required to follow the temporary health and safety procedures distributed to students earlier this summer and available on the Residential Life website.  Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action including removal from housing.

Being a college or university student is both challenging and exciting.  I think it is important to always remind you that you are never alone in facing – and conquering- those challenges. There are no perfect students at UConn.  The uniqueness of this community is found in how we support one another and ask for help when we need it.

Please make use of the extraordinary staff found in your school’s Academic Advising, Residential Life, Counseling, Student Health, and the Dean of Students office.  Areas like Residential Life, Student Health and Wellness Services and University Police offer 24/7 coverage during the academic year and are available whenever you need them.

My colleagues and I believe in all of you and the enormous potential you have in leading and transforming the future as UConn alumni.   Please let us know whenever you need us.

Best,

 

Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

UConn’s Services for Students, Outreach Activities and Other Information Regarding Coronavirus

To the University Community:

 

We write today to update the UConn community with information related to coronavirus, now known as Covid-19, which has dramatically impacted many aspects of life and business worldwide.

The virus emerged at a very difficult time when many UConn students and scholars were home for winter vacation in China, where the outbreak has been centered. Some UConn students and scholars have faced a delayed return to campus for the new semester, and are understandably worried about family and loved ones at home.

UConn Nation is one caring and united community. We empathize with all of our community members who have been personally impacted by Covid-19, and we are here to support them.

While we understand that many people may fear for their health and that of their loved ones, we urge you to join us by advocating against hurtful, hateful and insensitive behaviors that are not appropriate in this global health crisis and contradict our values. There is no place for those behaviors on our campuses.

Many UConn students have inquired about what they can do to help. In addition to providing a welcoming environment for your peers, we encourage interested student organizations to work with UConn Community Outreach on relief and fundraising efforts.

We also believe it is important to recognize the efforts of various offices who have gathered information and conducted outreach activities related to the virus.

UConn Student Health and Wellness has created a coronavirus webpage and offers a phone hotline to provide the latest information on the virus. It has provided free individual health screenings to students who recently traveled to China, and has been diligently following federal and state guidelines for managing risk related to the virus.

UConn International Student and Scholar Services has worked to identify international students who are most at risk of being impacted by mobility restrictions caused by the virus. That office has also worked with campus partners to provide options and support for students and scholars who were unable to return from China for spring semester, and to guide students who returned late due to travel delays. In addition, it has worked with the Chinese Consulate in New York to identify resources for Chinese citizens in need due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Office of the Provost has also collaborated with deans and faculty members to offer support for students who were delayed in their efforts to begin their spring semester classes.

The University is preparing options for students who do not wish to travel outside the U.S. during the summer. We are working to ensure a productive and relaxing summer for these students, including opportunities for them to participate in dynamic courses and enrichment experiences. Once these options are available, we will announce them.

Please note, there have been no known cases of Covid-19 at the University of Connecticut or within the state of Connecticut. Students, staff and faculty who have recently returned from China should already be past the two-week quarantine period. As of Feb. 14, 2020, there are no UConn Storrs students who are in the 14-day coronavirus monitoring period.

We remind students to take precautions to stay healthy as we move into peak flu season, including by getting your flu vaccination if you have not already done so, washing hands frequently, and staying home if you are ill. With spring around the corner, we hope that the severe impacts of this virus are behind us.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to further support you.

--

Nathan Fuerst

Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Management

Michael Gilbert

Vice President for Student Affairs

Daniel Weiner

Vice President for Global Affairs

Tragic Loss in Our UConn Community

Dear Students,

Over the course of the last several hours, our community has learned about a tragic incident on the Storrs campus. UConn student Tianyin Shang was discovered yesterday in the area of Mirror Lake by UConn Police. Her condition was grave and despite every effort to revive her, she did not survive and was pronounced dead at Windham Hospital on Monday afternoon.

A loss in our community like this is impossible to comprehend. Last night, my colleagues and I spent time with her friends and we will continue to reach out to those who knew Tianyin best.  I have learned that Tianyin, or Skyine as she was known to her friends, was proud of her Chinese heritage, excelled in math, was a friend to many in her residential community, and a rising star on the UConn Western Equestrian Team.

She is deeply missed, and many are struggling to understand her death. During the course of the next few days, we will remember, we will grieve and we will seek to cherish her contributions to our lives. The University has been in contact with her family and will provide all our support during this difficult time.

Her loss touches all of us in different ways.  Our grief for Tianyin’s loss – no matter how well we knew her -- will impact us in a myriad of ways.  Please know that the University is here for you:

  • Student Health and Wellness – Mental Health:  Mental Health Services is available to provide support to the Storrs student community at this time of loss.  Mental Health Services is located on the 4th floor of Arjona and their website lists information regarding their hours of service. Additionally on their website, you will find information on managing grief and loss.
  • On Call: A Counselor-on-Call and crisis information is available to you, all day, every day.  The Counselor on Call is available after hours by calling 860-486-4705.
  • Residential Life: The Residential Life staff team are available 24/7 to support members of the University residential population in need of support.  They can be contacted at 860-486-2926, or through the Resident Assistants on duty.
  • Dean of Students: The Dean of Students Office located on the 2nd floor of Wilbur Cross is available to assist students struggling with the loss of their classmate. You may make an appointment by calling 860-486-3426 or stop in to meet with a staff member during business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm. Staff in the Dean of Students Office are available to help you connect with support services as needed.
  • Student Care Team: If you are concerned about the well-being of a community member, call 911.  If it is not an emergency please complete a referral for the Student Care team.

Please take time to care for yourself and your fellow students during this difficult time. As a community we will support one another. I am continually touched by the students, faculty, staff, and organizations, like Active Minds, that seek to support each other.  I am grateful to be among such a community of compassionate Huskies.  Please, ask for help.  We’re here.

Yours,

Eleanor JB Daugherty
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Spring 2020 Winter Welcome

Dear Students,

Happy New Year! We look forward to your return to campus.

As you pack, make sure your cold weather attire includes lined coats, mittens, hats, extra blankets and waterproof boots.  For those of you with cars, emergency supplies such as a flashlight, batteries, ice scraper and traction sand are important.  Water and non-perishable food will also be important to keep available for when you cannot easily leave your residence. If you are not feeling well or need a flu vaccine, please contact Student Health and Wellness.

When there are severe weather conditions, keep in mind that the campus is an enormous physical plant and our resources are prioritized when clearing snow.  Your safety is our top concern and we encourage you to monitor emergency messages on our campus Alert site at alert.uconn.edu and the Winter Storm Guide.   Please also be mindful of campus policies if you need to miss a class.  For those who rely on public transportation to get to and from campus, please stay aware of any transportation changes.

Facilities Operations is a department focused on keeping our buildings and grounds clear and safe during severe weather.  This department is available 24/7 to respond to emergencies and has a downloadable mobile app for requesting on campus work orders.  The workers you have come to know inside the buildings help with storm related issues outside.  Please be cognizant of them operating equipment, and recognize certain service levels may not be reached during inclement weather.

During severe weather, the clearing of snow is prioritized to focus immediately on:

  • Access for emergency vehicles (fire, police, and EMT)
  • Student access to critical areas like Student Health and Wellness and the Dining Halls
  • Emergency building repairs

Once the above priorities have been satisfied, Facilities Operations and Building Services will then work to clear roads and enable access for:

  • Transportation (i.e. UConn buses)
  • Access to academic buildings for classes
  • Waste Management
  • Parking Lots

We share this with you to stress that your health and safety are the University’s top priority.  It also means that some campus comforts may be delayed while we focus on making sure we provide for emergency services on campus.  During those times, it is important to stay safe, limit your activity outside, and follow the direction of University staff.  Any unsafe conditions on the UConn grounds should be reported to Facilities Operations and Building Services using the mobile app found on the MyUConn app or by calling 860-486-3113.

UConn is prepared to offer minimal disruption to classes and the functioning of the University.  It takes scores of individuals to keep the campus accessible and safe, and I know you will join me in appreciating their dedication to UConn students, staff and faculty.

Best,

Eleanor JB Daugherty

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Michael Jednak

Associate Vice President for Facilities Operations and Building Services

P.S.  Membership in the Dean of Students Advisory Group remains open to the student body.  The next meeting is February 11.  If you are interested in joining, please email Cathy Downs at catherine.downs@uconn.edu. All are welcome!